Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 10 Hansard (29 August) . . Page.. 3615..
Mr Berry: It this theme your idea, Michael? It would have to be.
MR MOORE: Here we go. Now we have got Mr Cackle Berry going on with his interruptions. Ironically, Labor has proposed a short-term solution to the low-security Periodic Detention Centre-that it be refitted to hold high-security remandees. Astonishingly, this facility is located at Symonston.
Mr Humphries: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. It is very difficult to hear the minister's response. I would ask that you warn members.
MR SPEAKER: There are two under warning already, Chief Minister.
Mr Humphries: A few more might need to be warned as well.
MR SPEAKER: There will be a third if Mr Hargreaves keeps this up.
MR MOORE: All remandees are held in maximum security. They are going to have the Periodic Detention Centre used. It is almost a kilometre closer to the South Canberra residential areas than the proposed new correctional facility would be. The irony and the double standards in this are mind-boggling.
We ought to be able to deliver this service by 2004. If Labor pursues the policies it has announced, it will not be able to deliver them until 2006 at the earliest.
Public hospital waiting lists
MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the health minister, Mr Moore. Minister, two years ago the health committee completed a report on public hospital waiting lists. One of the recommendations that the government agreed to was about consulting with specialists and the division of surgery to work towards developing a trial for pooling public patients that addressed the overservicing and medico-legal problems raised by the division of surgery. Has a trial been developed? What strategies have been implemented to reduce waiting times?
MR MOORE: We have managed to improve our pooling processes. It became very clear that the medical specialists objected vigorously to having patients pooled. We are still examining that and we are looking at the methodology being used in Western Australia. In the interim, perhaps because of the pressure of the Assembly committee, the specialists themselves, particularly in the areas of specialty in which we needed more cooperative relationships, have effectively pooled themselves. I think particularly in terms of orthopaedic surgery, where specialists who had longer waiting lists have been handing their patients over to specialists with shorter waiting lists; so an effective pooling process has occurred there.
One of the strategies that members will remember being made public was that we would put out some of our elective surgery waiting list to tender. In the six months since I was last informed, there was a category one patient one month who was beyond the clinically required time frame of 30 days, with the average sitting at about 15 days. The patient