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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 10 Hansard (17 October) . . Page.. 3089..


MR STEFANIAK (continuing):

Once again, Hanna, thank you very much for organising that, and I thank the ANU for the loan of the bike. I think we made a contribution to encouraging people to cycle to work. Thank you, Tom for, those little gifts that you gave out. It was well done by Tom and Hanna. I certainly appreciated the experience. I do not think I overtook anyone. I would have been overtaken by about 50 different cyclists at least. I certainly did not put on lycra or anything like that, which would have been quite scary.

Canberra Hospital

MS MacDONALD (Brindabella) (6.02): Yesterday, during one of the debates Mrs Burke made a comment about Canberra Hospital along the lines that we all know that Canberra Hospital has the second highest rate of MRSA in Australia. I found that quite astounding because I was not sure that was the case and I was curious to know where Mrs Burke got that idea from. I actually asked for some advice on that, and I received the following information:

In the ACT, at both Canberra Hospital and Calvary hospital we have lower rates and numbers of MRSA than what is seen in most hospitals in the Eastern states of Australia. However, lower rates than the ACT are seen in Western Australia and in Hobart. We believe the ACT has similar rates to South Australia and some Queensland hospitals. Most major hospitals in Victoria and New South Wales looking after adults are likely to have much higher rates than seen at Canberra hospitals.

The problem is that there is almost no data available in the public arena with which one can compare hospitals or even states. WA is the only state where MRSA is a notifiable disease (and that state appears to have the lowest number of Healthcare associated MRSA infections).

Professor Collignon and many colleagues from here and interstate have been involved in national studies, a number that have been published on MRSA. The attached study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases (a US peer review journal from the CDC) with the Australian Group Antibiotic Resistance (AGAR) group, shows the rates of MRSA blood stream infections (ie septicaemias) in 17 hospitals across Australia. This remains the only published data available in Australia that looks at many hospitals for blood stream infections. Hospitals are ranked by size. Hospitals were de-identified ...

We know that Canberra Hospital is the largest in the study. It goes on:

As can be seen the rate of the hospital-onset MRSA bacteraemia at Canberra Hospital was 0.26 per 1,000 admission and this compares to the national average of 0.32 per 1,000 admissions (and this average included much smaller hospitals with expected lower rates. Only hospitals collecting data were included which were also likely to be biased to those performing better than the national average as they at least had a programme in place to measure what was happening).

A study from Melbourne in the Med Journal of Australia in 2005 showed that at the Austin Hospital there rate of MRSA was 0.6 per 1,000 admissions ...

I remind members that it was 0.26 per 1,000 admissions for the Canberra Hospital. It goes on:


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