Page 1415 - Week 05 - Wednesday, 6 May 2015

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What Mr Doszpot’s motion does is reduce the individual needs of students to a baseline of medical intervention without any of the evidence that would usually go into establishing such an embedded program. Conversely, it would appear that the HAAS program is not yet robust enough to weather the front-page test and clearly requires some further work in its communication with stakeholders but perhaps also in its program integrity.

I agree with Mr Doszpot that parents and students need certainty and not a temporary plan, but I think we need a policy and procedure, not a simplistic one-size-fits-all response that fails to consider issues such as the best use of resources, a strength-based approach to individual planning and the ongoing registration of potentially four nurses and their practical skills needs in their careers.

I thank the Minister for Health for taking on board suggestions that the Greens have made to the amendment circulated in his name. We need to get some clarity on this issue and we need to include all the stakeholders in any review and further consultation. That is why, particularly now in his amendment, Mr Corbell has put forward a number of points. He has given background to the HAAS program, talked about what it seeks to deliver in the schools, and spoken about that in his remarks today.

Then, as we get further down to paragraphs (g) and (h), he starts to talk about the review. This is where I had some discussions with Mr Corbell—and I appreciate him taking on board some of those points—but it is important that the review work with and consult the Education and Training Directorate. We need a strong partnership between the Health Directorate and the Education and Training Directorate. We need to make sure that that is well defined and responsibilities are clearly understood.

We need parents involved. Parents need to have confidence that their child is getting the medical services that they need. Obviously the teachers need to play a role, the nurses need to play a role, and their respective unions need to be engaged so that we can have, right through the system, the confidence that we have got the right model in place to address the specific needs.

The motion talks particularly about Woden and Black Mountain special schools, where the concerns seem to be arising. The HAAS pilot has been operating for some time now and an important part of understanding where we are up to is evaluating the success or otherwise so far and actually knowing what the situation is. We need to know whether this pilot has delivered what it intends, so we do need clarity around that review and we need an evaluation of the success of the program.

Importantly, Mr Corbell’s amendment also undertakes that the Minister for Health will report back to the Assembly on this consultation by the last sitting day of August 2015. I think, again, it is very important for this place to have a sense of transparency and have a point of accountability, because I know this is a contentious point. Change does produce debate and differing views on what the right model going forward is. But what having this report update does is give this chamber an opportunity to readdress, to reconsider this issue and to assess where it is up to, and for us to consider it again to make sure that progress has been made and that this Assembly can have confidence that the right model has been put in place.

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