Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (16 October) . . Page.. 2931..
MR MULCAHY (continuing):
patients. Minister, why has an area equivalent to about 30 beds been converted into administrative areas when there is such a clear and chronic shortage of beds?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, there are 147 more beds than the Liberal Party left us with. Imagine how much administrative area there was when the Liberals were in government—how much of that space was being used for all sorts of things other than hospital beds. One hundred and forty-seven additional beds is the capacity we have created in the public system. We make no apology for that.
There is, of course, always additional capacity within the buildings themselves to accommodate more beds, but that is dependent on other capital works to make those areas fit for purpose for use as hospital wards. The bottom line is that this government has increased the number of beds by 147, with more to come in future years, as outlined in the budget papers.
MR SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Mulcahy.
MR MULCAHY: Yes, a supplementary question. Minister, what will the Stanhope government do to ensure that the rooms that are used to treat patients are not taken for administrative purposes?
MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, we are not taking any rooms used to treat patients for administrative purposes.
MR SPEAKER: I call Mr Pratt.
Mr Barr: Do you have to do the buttons up, Pratty?
MR PRATT: I like to do it in a ceremonial way, Mr Barr. I appreciate the silence while I am going through that process.
Mr Speaker, my question is to the Acting Minister for Health. Minister, you appeared recently on ABC radio regarding a recent death at the Canberra Hospital. You rejected calls for an inquiry, an Auditor-General's inquiry, in fact, stating that "the government always implemented recommendations of the coroner in this regard". In fact, the government has failed to implement some of the most important recommendations of Coroner Doogan and reneged on its promise to implement all of Mr McLeod's recommendations.
Why should the people of Canberra have confidence that you will implement all of the recommendations of the coroner, given that you failed to implement the recommendations of Coroner Doogan and Mr McLeod?
MR CORBELL: What a silly question, Mr Speaker. I will come to the detail of Mr Pratt's question shortly, but what I find most interesting about the Liberals' approach on this is that they seem to think that the coroner's investigation is not adequate for the death at the Canberra Hospital. I challenge the Liberal Party to say in