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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3599..


MS GALLAGHER: other than, I would say, the staff in the emergency department, who are flat out when they are having to go on bypass because it means the emergency department is very busy. I have been to see the emergency department. I have spoken with staff in the emergency department and have attended a meeting there to talk with them.

Mrs Dunne: Not good enough.

MS GALLAGHER: What is not good enough about that, Vicki? You sit there and snipe through all the answers that anyone gives. I'm giving this for the benefit of the Assembly. I was asked a question and I am replying to that question about what is being done-and constantly interjecting is Mrs Dunne, going, "Who cares,""What's going on"et cetera. It is just ridiculous. You either do care about the answer or you do not. A number of measures have been taken by this government. We have invested millions of dollars into the access improvement program, which is already showing results. But there are still areas of pressure. It is addressing areas of pressure throughout the hospital.

The emergency department remains an area that we need to keep the focus on. It is a busy place. It is a place where people know that they will get very high quality health services, so lots of Canberrans like to use the emergency department. It is a major trauma centre. On any day it is dealing with a number of trauma and complex category 1 cases. It is a busy place. If the rest of the hospital is busy, there are going to be times when TCH particularly needs to go on bypass.

Nobody wants to see what happened in October. It was an extremely busy time. As I said, the number of discharges was down. We need some more exact data, which we are waiting for because of Mr Smyth's question about PAS. That data should be available soon. Once we can sit down and look at all that and see what exactly is going on, we can respond more comprehensively. What more can I say? I am aware of the issue and I am talking with people about what can be done. We are injecting funds into making sure that through the access improvement program we are continuing to address areas of pressure within the emergency department, and we will keep working on it until we see the results.

I am more interested in how long it takes to get patients off an ambulance and into the emergency department and I am more interested in how we meet our national targets against our categories than I am in worrying about bypass, because they are the real measures of whether a hospital is working well, and they are the measures that I am focusing on.

Environment-climate change

MR GENTLEMAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Could the Chief Minister please outline for the Assembly how the ACT government is working with Australia's state and territory governments in addressing key energy issues, including their impact on climate change, and what initiatives the ACT government has implemented?


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