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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3635..

MR MOORE (continuing):

When I put that up, as I did many years ago, I then recognised it was an inappropriate way to move and that there was an appropriate separation of powers. I backed away from that after taking advice from the Clerk. We now have written advice and I suggest you read it.

To come back to the very specifics of Mr Rugendyke's question: you would need to understand that once there is an inquiry under the Inquiries Act under way, as there is now, because the commission has been signed for Justice Gallop to undertake the inquiry, there will need to be resources put into supporting groups like Disability Programs so that they can present to that inquiry accurate information and the information that is necessary to explain what they have been doing, how they have been doing it and what steps they have taken to improve the services so that Justice Gallop can have the full picture in front of him, make his judgment, see what else needs to be done and report back to the government on the changes that ought to take place based on the full range of the terms of reference that went through this Assembly.

Elective Surgery

MR WOOD: My question is also to Mr Moore. Minister, can you advise me whether there has been a recategorisation audit of category 2 elective surgery patients at Canberra Hospital? If there has been, is it complete?

MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, the professor of surgery indicated to me some time ago that he would be looking at category 2 and category 3 patients because he believed that on some occasions those patients were categorised in the wrong place and needed to be reassessed to ensure that they were in the appropriate category. I said that I thought that it was a good idea for him to proceed, because we want to make sure that the fairest possible delivery of patient care occurs but that the patient care is at the highest possible level. My understanding is that that process is proceeding. I am not sure whether it has been completed. I will come back to you on the matter of the completion of that audit.

I will say something else that is very interesting, Mr Wood. When our tender process was put out for some 800 patients, at the department's request a list of 741 long - wait elective surgery procedures from either category 2 or category 3 was supplied to the department by the Canberra Hospital and then quite an amount of time was spent on finalising that. The Canberra Hospital actually revised its initial list of 741 people down to 670. The revising of that occurred because there were a number of people who had already had their operations done privately or had decided not to have their operations done. Perhaps they had been to a physiotherapist and got fit or had moved from Canberra.

Mr Berry: Or had died.

MR MOORE: Mr Berry interjects. There would be some doubt as to whether somebody was deceased; that is one possibility. It would not have been because of the operation because, as Mr Berry of all people would know, a person who is in category 2 is somebody whose particular operation is of a level judged by a specialist to need an operation between 30 and 90 days.

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