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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2136..


MR BARR (continuing):

conducted by the department of education but, indeed, any capital works projects, noting of course that in these instances, as it relates to schools, there is an important element here as we are dealing with children.

MS BRESNAN: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Ms Bresnan.

MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, has the ACT government assessed taking a precautionary approach in relation to the chemicals, fixtures and furnishings used in schools to protect the health of children, young people, staff and teachers?

MR BARR: Yes, it is my understanding that the department is considering those matters.

Visitors

MR SPEAKER: Before we take further questions without notice, I would like to note that we have members of the Gold Creek Probus Club visiting us in question time today, and I would like to welcome them to the Assembly.

Questions without notice

Hospitals-waiting times

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, the ACT President of the Visiting Medical Officers Association has alleged that the department does engage in the downgrading of patients who cannot be seen on time, saying that it is "an illegal stunt that's done by the administration to try and make their figures look better". Minister, has the department ever engaged in the practice of downgrading patients in order to make the figures look better, or is the ACT President of the Visiting Medical Officers Association lying?

MS GALLAGHER: There is absolutely no evidence of downgrading of elective surgery patients in line with the allegations made by Dr Peter Hughes.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Minister, what actions have you taken to investigate the claims?

MS GALLAGHER: The claims were made when I was on leave. I returned to work this morning. I have read a brief on the matter from my department and I will be following it up with them appropriately. Aside from the allegations made by Dr Hughes whilst I was on leave, let me say that the accuracy and the importance of very thorough collection of data for the use of health reporting are held in extremely high regard across ACT Health. To my knowledge, there has never been any evidence to say that the data collection processes have ever been doctored or tampered with to deliver some unknown benefit.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth?


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