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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 4 Hansard (3 May) . . Page.. 954..

MRS DUNNE (continuing):

in need of assistance from the mental health services, was triaged and assessed as needing admission but was sent home because there were no beds in any of the in-patient facilities provided for people with mental health issues.

The Chief Minister spends his time saying how much more money has been spent, but my constituents are not seeing the benefits of that money, so the question that constantly comes up when I deal with constituents with mental health problems is: if all this money is being spent, why am I not getting a better service than I used to?

MS GALLAGHER (Molonglo-Minister for Health, Minister for Children and Young People, Minister for Disability and Community Services, Minister for Women) (4.19), in reply: This was an opportunity for the Assembly to get behind the ACT health system and congratulate it for achieving, for the first ever time, full accreditation across every aspect of ACT Health. That was the purpose of providing the Assembly with a ministerial statement.

After the lessons of this morning, which we have all endured, I should have realised that when Mr Smyth politely stood up and said, "Minister, would you mind moving that the Assembly take note of the paper,"I should have said no and just sat down. That is what I should have done, and then when we would all have trotted off and we would have just left it as it was-a good story, a great achievement.

Every single staff member in ACT Health across all of those streams should be congratulated. Mr Smyth knows that achieving full accreditation is a very significant achievement and one that has not been achieved in the past. For the opposition to stand up and use it as yet another opportunity to snipe and be bitter and negative about the health system was just unwarranted. It did not need to happen. You had all of question time to have a go at me about the health system on individual matters, such as the one that Mrs Dunne raised about a constituent she alleges was turned away without any service from accident and emergency. I will be able to respond to that. I imagine there will be a response to it, but I have no idea what you have done about that if, as you allege, this person has been turned away without service after being triaged.

Mrs Dunne: When I get the date I will write to you about it.

MS GALLAGHER: You have written to me about it?

Mrs Dunne: I will write to you when I get the exact date.

MS GALLAGHER: Right-you will, now that you have had a spray in the Assembly.


Mrs Dunne: No, I am waiting for the exact date.

MR SPEAKER: Order! This is not a conversation.

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