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Thursday, 21 November 2013
Page: 1057

Superclinics


WYATT ROY (Longman) (15:03): My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer the minister to the Caboolture GP superclinic that was promised for my electorate more than three years ago. Can the minister update the House on the delays and the deceptions of the Caboolture GP superclinic and how that has affected the provision of health services in my electorate?


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Health and Minister for Sport) (15:03): I must say the GP superclinic was one of my favourite Labor programs—$650 million of taxpayers' money; first promised in 2007. Here we are in 2013 and there are still some that are in a planning stage, six years later. Can somebody explain to me how Labor presided over such incompetence in government? How did we spend money? How did our country get to a point where in the Health portfolio we are spending money on burnout competitions but not on patients? If anybody had any doubt about the incompetence of the Labor Party look no further than the former Minister for Health and Ageing.

Look at what Labor did in the portfolio. The member for Longman is a great local member. He has championed the cause of patients in his electorate over the course of the last five or six years. He wants to make sure that patients can get in to see a doctor. It is not a big ask. Do you know, Madam Speaker, that this clinic was first promised by the former government on 12 August 2010, indeed, during the 2010 election campaign. Here we are, three years later—people turning up to this vacant paddock expecting some sort of clinical services to be delivered, but it is not going to reach the standard. Doctors are not going to be able to practise in a vacant paddock because the planning stages are still underway. This is a government that will get on and provide services to patients. Contrast that to Labor's time in health when they promised so much and wasted so much, but they delivered so little.

I want to make sure that this does not continue, but I am worried about another site. At the last election the good people of Redcliffe, and right across that seat, delivered a great member to Petrie. They were sick of the promises that the former member made in relation to the superclinic—so called—on the Redcliffe Peninsular. It is also an interesting study. It started out as a $5 million promise. This was when the government of the day promised to give $5 million to a medical entrepreneur to set up one of these superclinics to compete with doctors who had already put their own capital at risk to deliver services. This program was completely devoid of any logic but, give it some time, and does it get better? No. Five million dollars were promised initially and then the cost blew out to $13.2 million.

Let us try to average this across the number of patients who have been seen in the service, which would be okay if, let us say, a million patients had been seen since that time. The problem with the GP superclinic in Redcliffe is that after $13.2 million and six years, it has not seen a patient. Not one! I said to my office: how can we calculate $13.2 million over zero patients? Of course we cannot because this is a testament to the incompetence of the previous Labor government. We will fix up Labor's mess and we will get the health system in this country back on track.