Page 4419 - Week 14 - Thursday, 28 November 2013

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MRS JONES: Minister, why did you ignore, and then deny, the warnings of the ANF which have now been proven true?

MS GALLAGHER: I did not.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what steps have you taken to correct the situation now that you know that the assumption of how many women could be cared for is unachievable?

MS GALLAGHER: The report says that it was an ambitious target to have 85 per cent of women birthing under the model of care initially, and we are working as per the recommendations, which say to continue with this model of care, that it is safe, it is effective and that the building capacity is available to deal with the demand. So all of that work is ongoing.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, could you explain to us a little more about the demand and how it has been generated?

Members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: I will keep it clean.

MADAM SPEAKER: Keep it clean, yes.

MS GALLAGHER: I would not want to speculate on any of those matters. I think Ms Porter is alluding to the issue that we did see a very substantial increase in demand for public birthing services around the time that the new centenary hospital was commissioned. That has ameliorated somewhat. There was a big shift from the private system to the public system—

Mr Hanson: Because of the Medicare rebate?

MS GALLAGHER: That certainly contributed to it. There is no doubt that that has been an element and the failure of the private system to respond—

Mr Hanson: It is their fault, is it?

MS GALLAGHER: No, this has impacted—

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Order, Mr Hanson! Ms Gallagher, do not respond to Mr Hanson’s interjections.

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