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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (5 December) . . Page.. 3636..


MR MOORE (continuing):

Yes, there has been a process of recategorisation going on; but, if you look at the process gone through over the tender, you will see that it is appropriate that we ensure that our waiting lists are genuinely of people who are actually waiting for operations. That having been said, I have to say that more than 600 people will receive their operations earlier than would have been the case if we had not gone through that tender process.

MR WOOD: A supplementary, Mr Speaker. It is the case, though, that a review of the waiting list is done I understand once or twice a year? In any event, it is a review of just who still wants the operation. What are you going to do with these lists when they are revised and changed? Minister, if that is the way they are to be re - categorised, you will not come into this Assembly and say, "Look, we have cleared up the category 2 lists and they are now so much better."

MR MOORE: Of course I will, Mr Wood. If we have a category 3 patient who was previously listed by their specialist as a category 2 and when questioned says, "No, I was a category 3 patient," of course we will put them in the appropriate category. To do otherwise, Mr Wood, you would be pointing the finger at me and accusing me. We will take the good with the bad, Mr Wood. You could have the category 3 patient whom we look at and say, "No, this is much more serious, we will be putting that person in category 2."

Mr Wood: Do you think that is likely?

MR MOORE: Of course we will also say that. Mr Wood you say, "Is it likely?" I am saying this is not my decision. These are the decisions of specialists and another specialist who is asking the question.

Furthermore, I have been in discussion with the Division of GPs to ask them to look at the lists as well and to see if they can help us in dealing with making sure that people have their appropriate surgery with an appropriate surgeon. This has been done particularly well in Western Australia. In fact, we funded some of the Division of GPs to go over and look at how it works in Western Australia where the hospitals are able to work with general practitioners in the Division of GPs to ensure that their patients are getting appropriate care and the best possible care. Mr Wood, the fundamental here as far as this government is concerned is patient care.

The second thing, Mr Wood, is that when it comes to waiting lists, the fundamental for us is waiting times. Has the person had their operation within the appropriate clinical time frame? If they are in the wrong category, we cannot tell whether they have had it in the appropriate clinical time frame. So of course we will review those lists and we will maintain the process that continues to review them. We will report to the Assembly as to where people's categories are as assessed by the specialists.

Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Legal Aid Funding

MR HUMPHRIES: Mr Speaker, last week I took on notice a question from Mr Wood about legal aid funding. Mr Wood asked me whether the ACT government had been asked or had acted to approach the Commonwealth about additional funding for the


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