Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (12 December) . . Page.. 3978..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
This year's budget included funding for a second MRI machine which will be operational early next year. The second MRI will provide a significant increase in capacity, allowing an extra 10 to 15 scans a day, or up to 3,000 scans a year, substantially improving access to scans and reducing those waiting periods.
With the second MRI we have also allowed for dedicated research time, particularly in orthopaedics, ageing brain research and functional imaging of the brain. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the doctors at the hospital who were the originators of the idea of the purchase of a second MRI to set the ACT up in terms of research capacity and also to attract health professionals to the ACT to work.
We have, of course, already spoken about the investment in linear accelerators of about an extra $28 million, to increase our capacity for radiation oncology services to people in the ACT region. In upgrading the TCH campus we have invested $3.38 million to relocate medical records at the Canberra Hospital. We have also invested $2 million for an additional 580 car parking spaces at TCH, due for completion in May next year.
The capital pressures at both TCH and Calvary hospitals are considerable. The infrastructure is ageing. We need to keep injecting resources into the hospitals to keep pace with some of the demands being placed on our hospital system.
In recognition of that, we introduced paid parking this year into the hospital campuses at both TCH and Calvary. This paid parking regime will certainly assist us in investing in the future capital needs of our hospitals. We have committed to invest every cent raised from paid parking into our hospital system. I will certainly be able to speak next year with members and the community about some of the projects we have in mind for that revenue once those figures become available.
We are certainly investing in the infrastructure needs at the hospitals. As I said, they are considerable. We are looking at every way to raise money to ensure we are providing first-rate services in our hospitals that we keep pace with some of the demands we are seeing that need to be injected into our health system.
MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, could you elaborate on the implementation of pay parking at hospitals?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Gentleman for the supplementary question.
Mr Smyth: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. On the notice paper there is a question from Dr Foskey about pay parking arrangements at the hospital that I think rules the supplementary question out of order—question No 1315.
MR SPEAKER: I uphold the point of order.
Mr Corbell: I wish to speak to the point of order before you rule in that way, Mr Speaker.
Mrs Burke: He has already ruled.