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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 1947..


MR SPEAKER: Order!

MR HARGREAVES: Mr Pratt suggested that it has taken six months. The incident occurred only 24 hours ago.

Mr Pratt: Is that your first arrest?

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, ignore Mr Pratt's interjections.

MR HARGREAVES: I will, Mr Speaker. He is the only man I know who takes 90 minutes to watch 60 Minutes. Instead of racing off to put out media releases I challenge Mr Pratt, through you, Mr Speaker, to give us in writing his suggestions on how to fix this problem. I will then issue a media release backing him up.

Mr Pratt: Any solution would beat yours.

MR HARGREAVES: Well, do it. Put up or shut up.

Mr Pratt: It has taken you six months to investigate somebody.

MR HARGREAVES: In that case, shut up.

MR SPEAKER: Order!

Mr Pratt: Are you operating the stovepipes?

MR SPEAKER: Mr Pratt, I warn you.

Hospitals—elective surgery

MR MULCAHY: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, you and your Chief Minister are prone to make much of your spending on health. Indeed, unless one had to actually visit a Canberra hospital emergency department or be placed on the elective surgery waiting lists, it would be easy to believe that everything was fine and travelling nicely.

The truth, however, is that, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, ACT patients waited 61 days for elective surgery in 2005-06 compared to the Australian average of 32 days. Similarly, in 2005-06 only one in two patients received timely treatment in ACT emergency departments; you will recall that this was ranked as the worst performance in the country.

Minister, clearly, under your leadership, there is not a direct link between spending and actual results. Why is performance in Canberra hospitals so bad?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Mulcahy for the question. I totally reject the assertions made through the question that the hospital is not performing. In fact, there is no national report which shows that the Canberra Hospital is performing at the worst level in the country—which goes to the concerns that Mr Mulcahy has raised


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