Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 7 Hansard (23 August) . . Page.. 1953..
MR STANHOPE (continuing):
hurdle to the addressing of greenhouse as a national issue has been the intransigence of the Prime Minister of Australia and his cabinet colleagues in his party.
As recently as 14 months ago the Prime Minister was a self-declared climate change sceptic. Of course, his colleagues here in the territory have gone along kowtowing to that particular position: the refusal to participate in Kyoto; the refusal to participate with the states and territories in the development of an emissions trading scheme. Johnny-come-lately—poll driven again: the great populist—realised, after 10 years in government, that the people of Australia—after 10 years in government the Liberal Party realised that the people of Australia—
Opposition members interjecting—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Members of the opposition, cease interjecting. If you would, Chief Minister, come back to the subject matter of Dr Foskey's question.
MR STANHOPE: The people of Australia were looking for leadership on climate change. They did not get it. They will never get it from the Prime Minister and his party in government; they will get it from Kevin Rudd and the Labor Party.
MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, I am sure that when you were health minister, you were generous to a tee, given that the current health minister is now generous for a price.
MR SPEAKER: Never mind me. Just get on with your question.
MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, people who enter the health system in the ACT can do so through a number of points, including through community care, the public or private hospital system or the mental health system. It seems reasonable to expect that, with the rapid developments taking place in information technologies, it is now feasible to use efficient processes to identify patients.
Minister, what system is in place in the ACT health system to allocate a unique identifying number for each patient? If there is no such system in use, why is there not?
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. There is, through ACTPAS, the ability to identify patients who use the health system. That can be primarily within ACT Health across a range of those areas that you have talked about. That is one of the reasons why we have moved down the path of ACTPAS.
As you would know, there is a lot of national work going on in relation to ehealth and looking at how we can have unique patient identifiers across the country. That work is before the ministerial council now and is being progressed pretty slowly, I have to say, for a range of different reasons, primarily issues around privacy. But certainly ACTPAS does provide us with capacity in terms of being able to pull up patients within ACT Health at the moment, and we are looking hopefully at some extension for GPs and other primary health care providers in the future.