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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 6 Hansard (24 June) . . Page.. 2637..


Questions without notice

Hospital bypasses

MR SMYTH: My question is directed to the Minister for Health. The ACT opposition has raised concerns about the high levels of bypasses in the ACT hospital system, with 61 patients being sent to other hospitals since August 2003. In response to this alarming statistic, you said that the figures are low compared to the national average. According to ABC Online of 15 June, you said:

Canberra Hospital performs very well against the national standards, the levels of bypass and the levels of patients going elsewhere is very low compared to many other hospitals right around the country.

The ACT opposition has checked the Press Ganey satisfaction survey and found no mention of a national average or similar measurement for bypasses. The Press Ganey survey did however find that the Canberra Hospital emergency department was in the bottom third of all hospitals in terms of patient satisfaction, and just outside the bottom third for all emergency departments.

The Productivity Commission does not use bypass as a comparison in its assessment of state services. Why did you claim that the Canberra Hospital was performing better than the national average on bypasses when there is no such record of such a measure?

MR CORBELL: My point is that, compared to other major trauma hospitals in areas such as New South Wales, the Canberra Hospital performs very well. The level of bypass compared to those hospitals is low. That is the point I was making. That point is an accurate point to make.

Mr Smyth: Mr Speaker, I rise on a point of order. I was not talking about the levels; I was talking about the creation of a national standard, where it comes from and whether it exists. The minister has ignored that question.

MR SPEAKER: There is no point of order.

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, have you simply made up this statistic to attempt to calm public concerns over the poor performance of the hospital system under your management, or will you today table some information as to where this national standard comes from?

MR CORBELL: No, I have not made it up.

Child protection

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Children, Youth and Family Support, Ms Gallagher. Minister, given that it is now clear that section 162 (2) of the Children and Young People Act was not complied with, can you assure the Assembly that the 71-in total-delegations under the act have been complied with by your department, especially since section 161 (1) of the Children and Young People Act was also not complied with?


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