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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 11 Hansard (14 December) . . Page.. 3142..


MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND COMMUNITY CARE

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY QUESTION

Question No. 128

Public Hospitals - Waiting Lists Policy

Ms Follett -asked the Minister for Health and Community Care upon notice on 6 December 1995:

(1) What is the ACT Waiting List Policy.

(2) How is it to be promulgated.

(3) How will it tighten management of waiting lists.

(4) How will tightening the waiting lists lower them.

(5) Is there agreement from the medical profession to promulgate the policy.

MRS CARNELL - the answer to the Member's question is:

(1) The Government has released a document entitled "Management of Waiting Lists, Admissions and Discharges - Guidelines and Policy". The paper provides detail on the principles by which waiting lists are to be managed in ACT public hospitals and the roles and responsibilities of those involved.

(2) The policy was launched on 13 December 1995.

(3) The management of waiting lists is a complex task requiring a team approach. A common understanding of the principles to be adopted and the responsibilities of each member of that team is vital to its effective and efficient performance. Adherence to the requirements of the policy will lead to a more efficient use of hospital resources and more accurate reporting of the waiting list. The Waiting List Policy is one of a number of initiatives of the Government that will address this issue including the $2 million additional throughput strategy provided for in the 1995-96 Budget.

(4) More efficient use of resources will enable more elective surgery to be performed which should lead to a reduction in the length of the lists. Adherence to the policy will lead to a reduction in the number of elective surgical patients waiting longer than the desirable period for admission.

(5) Yes. The Royal Australian College of Surgeons, the ACT Division of GPs, the ACT Branch of the AMA were all consulted in the development of the policy. The Directors of Clinical Services at the two public hospitals were members of the working group that drafted the policy.


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