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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 11 Hansard (13 November) . . Page.. 3255..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

submission to the Auditor-General also goes on to outline what the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards said about this benchmark, which is measured. As we know, ACT Health managed to get full accreditation this year under that process.

In fact, the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards said that the purchasing and inventory control system had been implemented across ACT Health, and evidence was available for the surveyor showing a highly effective and efficient system that also brought cost effectiveness to the ACT health system. The system is also user-friendly for consumers and this was best illustrated by the imprest system in wards and departments. It is so responsive that the morning imprest orders are delivered by the afternoon and same day one-off requests for an item are met within 21/2 hours.

It goes on to state that additionally statistics are recorded monthly that illustrate that supply services have consistently maintained order fill levels of between 98.5 per cent and 99.1 per cent over many years, a level that equates to best practice when matched to traditional expectations of better than 95 per cent by interstate health services.

I see the opposition has gone very quiet here. It is quite embarrassing to have all of this read out after the allegations made—that we had a Third World hospital system; that we had a system in chaos because there were not enough dressings, tubing and icy poles; that the processes were not there; that nurses were left without any of this equipment—have been shown to be incorrect. In fact, this has given us the opportunity to show that our system is better than it is nearly anywhere else in the country. This has now been recognised by the Auditor-General in her decision not to pursue a performance audit and also the independent advice of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Mrs Burke should be ashamed and she should apologise.

Hospitals—bypasses

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, over the past four months, there have been 36 occasions when the Canberra Hospital has had to go onto bypass. While in August there were only six hours, in July there were 22 hours on bypass, in September there were 28 hours and in October there were 19 hours on bypass. Calvary public hospital has had no instances of bypass in this period. Minister, why is the Canberra Hospital continually placed on bypass in these high numbers?

MS GALLAGHER: I have been waiting for the bypass question. I have not had a bypass question since Mr Smyth lost the portfolio. It was one that I enjoyed getting because it gave me the opportunity to talk about the reasons behind bypass. I am just looking to confirm whether you have got the right hours of bypass. In October 2007 our hospitals had nine occasions of load sharing for a total of 19 hours, which is less than half that of the year before.

As I have said on this a number of times, bypass is not a measure of performance; it is not used by any national or international report on healthcare as a measure of performance. What the opposition tried to do was say that, because you are on bypass, that is poor performance, bad performance. I am not clear. You try to raise it as evidence that there is underperformance going on.


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