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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 10 Hansard (27 August) . . Page.. 3771..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

people into outer space for their health treatment. But this will be something that the Liberal Party will have to fund and accept. They will have to back this plan; they will have to support this. Their lack of focus on public health is starting to show. They are absolutely silent—not one thing to say. Not one thing to say since Mr Smyth promised 100 beds. Not one thing to say about how to build our public health system for our community's needs.

This is probably the most important issue as we go into this next period of time. We need the support of this Assembly to deliver this project. The community will need it—and all of us. It is our community's health system. It is too important to remain silent upon. The challenge to those opposite is to get behind the plan. If they are not going to do that, they need to come clean on just how they are going to address the demands that will be placed on the public health system in the future.

Hospitals—death of Alan Osterberg

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. In October last year, we were made aware of the case of Mr Alan Osterberg, who died at the Canberra Hospital while attending the emergency department, after waiting four hours to be seen by a doctor and despite being triaged as a category 3 patient, which meant he should have received treatment within 30 minutes. Minister, as the coroner noted during the inquest finalisation on 10 June this year, this was not "best practice". The government stated at the time that there would be an internal investigation. Minister, has this internal investigation been completed. If not, why not? If it has been completed, what did it find, and will you table it in this place by close of business tomorrow?

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, there was an internal process, a review, as there is on any number of matters that come before the public health system. I will not be agreeing to table that report. These reports are privileged through the clinical review processes. Mrs Burke asking me to table the report just highlights again her lack of understanding about the review processes available in the hospital. There has been a coroner's inquiry. That is a public inquiry. A whole range of evidence was provided in that forum, and, of course, Mrs Burke goes to one element of what the coroner said. The coroner, of course, went on to say a whole range of other things about just how busy the emergency department was that night. In fact, from memory, I do not think there were any adverse findings from that inquiry. I think that also fails to get a mention in Mrs Burke's question, which is convenient.

All the advice to me is that there was an inquiry. I have seen the results of that, but, as you would know, through the clinical review process and the clinical privileges committee process—and we have gone through this at some length to try and explain this to Mrs Burke—that information is privileged, and for good reasons.

Multicultural affairs

MS PORTER: Mr Speaker, my question, through you, is to the Minister for Multicultural Affairs. Minister, what are some of the key achievements of the ACT government in supporting Canberra's multicultural community since 2004?


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