Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3254..
MS GALLAGHER (continuing):
I felt that it was right that we come back to the Assembly, considering that there was such public interest in this, to say that the Auditor-General has completed her preliminary assessment of ACT Health's asset management and inventory systems to assist her in forming a view on whether these matters require urgent audit attention, and she has advised ACT Health that her preliminary assessment has identified no significant deficiencies or systemic problems in these systems and therefore an audit is not warranted at this time. So the Auditor-General found no significant deficiencies or systemic problems in these systems and will not be taking this matter any further.
As I said, there were a number of public statements about this. I think there was an element of public concern around whether our hospitals had enough supplies to use on patients who required them. But, as we can see, based on information that the Auditor-General has had a look at, there is no basis for these claims. I am surprised that Mrs Burke has not rushed in here to put all these matters on the record.
Mrs Burke: There was more to the letter that you haven't read out.
MR SPEAKER: You are on a warning, Mrs Burke. Don't be tempted.
MS GALLAGHER: The information which ACT Health has provided to the Auditor-General as part of a response clearly shows that the supplies and the processes around supplies are adequate and that there is no further requirement to have an investigation. Mrs Burke really should probably apologise to the management at the public hospitals, again whose reputation she has damaged by certainly saying in a number of interviews that we run a Third World hospital system here—
Mr Pratt: Spin campaign.
MS GALLAGHER: I didn't say it—a Third World hospital system where supplies were running out; that there was intravenous tubing, dressings—I think icy poles at one stage were bought in. They were all out of order and it is simply not the case.
MS MacDONALD: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, what measures does Health have in place to ensure supplies are kept at an optimal level?
MS GALLAGHER: There is a comprehensive array of processes to ensure that we have good ordering processes and to ensure that we do not get short of supplies. This is not to say that from time to time the trolley on the floor of the emergency department may not need restocking. We need to separate the issues here. In times when the hospital is busy, of course that will be the case. But the issue being alleged—which was that the hospital had run out of supplies—has simply been found to be incorrect.
ACT Health Supply Services provides a complete health-related supply-chain solution to the hospitals and health centres in the ACT. That includes full purchasing, warehousing, electronic ward-based stock control, product management and consultation, management recording and a feeder system interface into the general ledger.
ACT Health were very quickly able to provide the Auditor-General with a submission on everything they do around supplies and consumables within the hospital. The