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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 5 Hansard (31 May) . . Page.. 1299..


MR STANHOPE: I do not.

Budget—taxation measures

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Treasurer. What is the average cost per household of the new and increased tax measures that your government imposed in the 2006-07 ACT budget?

MR STANHOPE: I will take that on notice, Mr Speaker.

MR MULCAHY: Mr Speaker, I ask a supplementary question. Treasurer, why, one year after their introduction, can you not detail how much the revenue measures that you have introduced typically have cost Canberra households?

MR STANHOPE: I have taken the question on notice, Mr Speaker.

Hospitals—performance

MR SESELJA: My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Minister, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has just released its latest report on the performance of public hospitals. This report shows that the ACT's public hospitals continue to perform poorly relative to hospitals in other jurisdictions in a number of areas.

On ABC radio this morning you acknowledged a number of the problems that have been identified in this latest report from the institute, and you mentioned implementing a "comprehensive program". Minister, can you confirm that the ACT still has the highest cost for each casemix-adjusted separation of any jurisdiction in Australia? If so, why?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, I have already outlined that we have, I think, the most expensive—14 per cent above the national benchmark when adjusted casemix is taken into account. When it is all put together, we are. That has come down from 30 per cent two years, to 24 per cent above average, to 14 per cent. It is largely to do with our staffing costs. That is reflected in the detail of the report as well. If you look at the tables at the back of the report, you will see that our staffing costs are higher than they are in other jurisdictions.

We have always set ourselves the target of getting towards 10 per cent above national benchmark. We think that is achievable. But we have never set ourselves the standard of trying to get to the national average because we have a very good, high quality system in place. We do not mind the expenditure into health when it is used in the most efficient way. The measure has to be seen in terms of the other measures of efficiency in the hospital system, which are also under reform and demonstrated in this report to be achieving good results as well.

We are seeking to get to a target of 10 per cent. We have a benchmarking review underway. That is largely looking at administrative positions and managerial positions within the hospital. We have been up-front about the need to seek savings there and


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