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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 3 Hansard (16 March) . . Page.. 881..


MR DOSZPOT: Minister, how many options have been developed by your department and what time frame is in place for full implementation of these options in ACT schools?

MR BARR: Mr Doszpot obviously did not listen to my response to the previous question. I will release the government's response in due course.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Coe?

MR COE: Minister, which stakeholders have you consulted and what did they say in response to the review?

MR BARR: I will release the government's response to the Shaddock review in due course.

MR COE: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Coe.

MR COE: Minister, why are you being so coy about the subject?

MR BARR: Because I will release the government response to the Shaddock review in due course.

Canberra Hospital—radiation therapy

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I refer to a recent case reported in the media on 2 March where a breast cancer patient repeatedly tried to seek answers from the Canberra Hospital about receiving radiotherapy. One of the quotes from ABC Online reads:

That was eight ... calls every day and none of them returned till finally I was having to get very upset at some poor administrative staff to be able to have the call put to their manager who then told me 'well we have a staff shortage' ...

Minister, she was eventually told she would have to travel to Sydney to receive the radiotherapy that she needed. Minister, why was the standard of communication with this patient so poor? And will you apologise to the patient?

MS GALLAGHER: I have already acknowledged that there were communication problems in that department during what has been a very busy time. I can certainly apologise to the woman—I think I may have already done it—and I think a number of staff have as well, because it is not acceptable to have that kind of response in terms of needing advice around your treatment. Indeed, it should not be up to administrative staff to provide you with that response.

Changes have been put in place and were put in place immediately to correct that and to make sure that patients got access to a clinician around advice for them about their treatment. There were a number of issues going on at the same time. There were certainly staff shortages.


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