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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 14 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 5322..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

18 months of data on the operation of the Alexander Maconochie Centre. The Minister for Corrections and I are just finalising the arrangements of how that work is to proceed. Corrections health, as it operates out at Alexander Maconochie, is already collecting the data that will inform that review, but the final processes of how the working group is going to work across corrections and ACT Health are to be finalised with the new Minister for corrections.

MR SPEAKER: Ms Hunter, a supplementary question?

MS HUNTER: Minister for corrections, in regard to the one-year review of the AMC, can you ensure there will be ex-prisoners on the new community reference group that is to come out of this review?

MR CORBELL: As a matter of principle, the government seeks feedback from a broad range of people who have had involvement in the corrections system. Obviously, prisoners themselves, both present and past, have brought perspectives to share on the operation of the facility. Their views will be sought.

Hospitals-Calvary Public Hospital

MR HANSON: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, yesterday, you said this in relation to discussions with the Catholic Church on 6 April:

We also, at that meeting, indicated that the other option for the government to consider was the building of a third hospital, which, again, I have discounted a number of times. But they were certainly things that we have analysed and considered ...

Minister, what analysis has been done by the government on the option of building a third hospital in Canberra, and will you table this analysis in the Assembly?

MS GALLAGHER: Some analysis was done very early on in my term as minister, back in 2006, around a request that I made of the department to investigate whether we needed a third hospital. It was really around an idea that some people had mentioned to me around having an elective surgery centre in the ACT and whether there could be a stand-alone elective surgery centre. That work was examined at the beginning of the work that led into the capital asset development plan.

The advice that came back to me was that the ACT could not sustain a stand-alone elective surgery centre or a third hospital, based on our population and the fact that it would compromise the services at the existing two hospitals-that is largely around the intensive care units and the emergency departments and the fact that you would have to build a third intensive care unit and a third emergency department in this city, which our community could not sustain-and that in fact, if we did proceed down that path, it would compromise the current intensive care units at Calvary Public Hospital and the Canberra Hospital.

I was satisfied with that advice. It is advice that has been supported over the years in representations to me, particularly from the medical profession, that our community of 350,000 cannot support a third hospital. I will check what the form of that advice was,


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