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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2004 Week 1 Hansard (10 February) . . Page.. 52..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

from accessing condoms was challenged in court. Basically, the court found on appeal that individual prisoners might be entitled to injunctive or other relief if they could show that the refusal of the department to permit them to use condoms constituted a breach of the duty of care it owed them.

It was proposed to the committee that it will be only a matter of time before a similar case is brought forward by an individual who had effectively accessed an injecting equipment exchange program and protected themselves from contracting a blood-borne virus and who, for whatever reason, was incarcerated with no ability to continue to take steps to prevent a blood-borne virus transmission. It is a very fundamental rights issue. As the government is introducing a bill of rights, I would have hoped to have seen that recognised in this response and to have seen a much more positive response to the recommendations regarding correctional settings.

Mental health system

Papers and statement by minister

MR CORBELL (Minister for Health and Minister for Planning): I present the following papers:

Recent reports concerning the mental health system-

Mental Health ACT-Response to recommendations on the Community and Health Complaints Commissioner, Mr K Patterson Report: The Investigation into Risk of Harm to Clients of Mental Health Services, November 2002, dated December 2003.

Mental Health ACT-Response to recommendations on the Ms K LaRoche and Mr R Mann Report: The Review of the Design and Operational Practice in the Psychiatric Services Unit, the Canberra Hospital, May 2003-Progress Report, dated December 2003.

I ask for leave to make a statement.

Leave granted.

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, on 21 October the Standing Committee on Health tabled report 6, entitled Report on recent reports concerning the mental health system. In response to the report, I undertook to report to the Assembly on the progress of Mental Health ACT on implementing the recommendations arising out of the report of the ACT Health and Community Care Services Complaints Commissioner, Mr Ken Patterson, and the Mr Mann and Ms LaRoche report on the review of the design and operation of the psychiatry services unit at Canberra Hospital.

In December 2002, Mr Stanhope, as the Minister for Health, undertook to provide this Assembly with a progress report on implementation of the recommendations of the Patterson report and other improvements in mental health services in December 2003. Mental Health ACT has been the subject of five reviews following the tragic deaths of people while they were hospitalised and receiving psychiatric treatment. This intense scrutiny continues with the current coronial inquiries into the deaths of these people.


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