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Monday, 18 October 2010
Page: 623


Ms HALL (7:06 PM) —I must start my contribution to this debate by saying that I am exceptionally disappointed in the contribution that the member for Kennedy made. He, better than anyone up here, knows that the minister does not come to and cannot participate in private members’ business. Whilst he made some very good points, the member for Kennedy knows the rules of debate on private members’ business, and outlined in them is something that he and the other Independents all signed up to—that is, ministers cannot participate in private members’ business. The member for Kennedy stands condemned for his dishonesty in this debate.


Mr Katter —Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise on a point of order. Not only have I been misrepresented; I have also been vilified. I would ask the member to withdraw and apologise.


Ms HALL —I will not withdraw.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. DGH Adams)—Order! I did not hear the remarks the honourable member made. I was in conversation with the clerk. If the honourable member feels badly done by I would ask the member for Shortland to withdraw.


Ms HALL —I am very reluctant to withdraw because it was pure debate and the facts were correct.


Mr Katter —You used unparliamentary language.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order!


Ms HALL —I did not use unparliamentary language.


Mr Katter —You certainly did.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! I ask the honourable member to withdraw without qualification.


Ms HALL —I withdraw.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER —The honourable member has withdrawn. She has now has the call.


Mr Katter —Why doesn’t she stick to the subject instead of attacking me?


Ms HALL —I listened quietly while the member for Kennedy made his contribution to this debate. If he is honest about the situation in relation to doctors and the doctor shortage he will first get to the reason we have a chronic doctor shortage. That shortage is because the coalition government cut the numbers of doctors and put a cap on the training of doctors. Coming from that a chronic doctor shortage developed.

The member for Kennedy has a doctor shortage in his electorate. I have a very significant shortage of doctors in the Shortland electorate; there is one doctor for 1,600 people. I will say that it is much easier for people living in Shortland to access the services of a specialist than it is for people living in the electorate of Kennedy. I think that the member for Kennedy needs to acknowledge the contributions that the minister has made in creating more training places for doctors—an enormous number of additional training places for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals. When these training places come on line that will go towards addressing the doctor shortage that exists.

The motion before us talks about the training of specialists and the role that medical and surgical colleges play in the registration process of medical graduates. I agree with comments that have been made about the need for this system to be reviewed. I think that the specialist colleges do have an exceptional amount of power in determining who should train in those specialties. I believe that there is a better and fairer system that could be put in place than the one that exists now. The system that we have came from the UK, as did many of the practices that we undertake, but now I think it is time for us to revisit it. I do not think that an inquiry that is about scapegoating certain people is the way to go; I think we need to approach this matter in a serious, mature way, where we look at the best way to train medical specialists within this country and not look at using a motion like this to attack particular scenarios or cases.