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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 4 Hansard (10 April) . . Page.. 1355..

ACT Ambulance Service—vehicles

(Question No 1840)

Dr Foskey asked the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, upon notice, on 13 February 2008:

Does the ACT Ambulance Service have vehicles capable of transporting patients weighing over 180 kilograms.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

Yes. Funding by the ACT Government in 2005-2006, has seen all ACT ambulances equipped with stretchers with a safe working load of 230kg.

In addition, a specialist bariatric ambulance was one of four vehicles funded by the ACT Government in the 2007-2008 Budget to increase the current ACT Ambulance Service fleet capability.

The bariatric ambulance and associated specialist equipment will provide the ACT Ambulance Service the capability to provide safe and efficient transport to morbidly obese patients up to 500kg.

Procurement for the bariatric ambulance is currently being finalised, with construction to commence shortly. The bariatric ambulance is scheduled to be operational in June 2008.

Hospitals—visiting medical officers

(Question No 1844)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 13 February 2008:

(1) Given that in 2006 the cost of services provided by Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) was a total of $16.472 million and that according to the 2006-07 ACT Health annual report there was a high use of VMOs resulting in a total cost of $20.323 million, what are the reasons for the higher use of VMOs and associated higher costs;

(2) Given that the 2006-07 ACT Health annual report stated in Section A, Performance and financial management reporting, that there are three VMO's who have contracts in excess of or above $450 000, (a) how many hours work is each of these VMOs contracted for, or expected to perform, in order to fulfil their contractual obligations as a VMO for ACT Health, (b) is there a predetermined public patient load expected of each of these VMOs and (c) does ACT Health monitor or keep a record of the number of public patients each VMO sees; if so how many public patients did each of the above VMOs see during the 2006-07 reporting period.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Between the two periods cited there was an increase in surgical activity, additional VMOs were engaged as services expanded, there was an increase in the negotiated contract price, continuity bonuses were paid as VMOs moved to the new contract, and a number of disputes in relation to transitional allowances were settled for payment.

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