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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 2138..


MR HANSON: A supplementary?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, have ACT Health at any stage approached doctors to request that patients be downgraded from urgent to a lower category?

MS GALLAGHER: I cannot answer that. Have ACT Health ever asked any doctor around the clinical status of every patient? I cannot answer that question. I think it would be unlikely but-

Mr Smyth: You have just said never, ever.

MS GALLAGHER: There is absolutely no evidence to me but Mr Hanson's question is different. He said-

Mr Smyth: There is an individual who claimed it happened to him. There is evidence there.

MS GALLAGHER: No. His question was: do hospital staff go and approach doctors and ask them to downgrade? I have not heard of that happening. I cannot say it has never happened, only because there are thousands of procedures done every year across both Canberra and Calvary public hospitals. But I do know the policy that is in place is that ultimately it is the clinician that is the decision maker. The clinician is the only person that is able to downgrade if a downgrade is to be made of the clinical category of their patients on the elective surgery waiting list.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?

MR HANSON: Minister, would you consider it appropriate or in accordance with policy that ACT Health would be contacting doctors to ask that they downgrade their patients?

MS GALLAGHER: It would not be in accordance with the policy, but I will say that hospital administrators talk to doctors about patients all the time. The policy around downgrading or classifying the clinical category of the elective surgery for particular patients-it is, and can only be, done by their treating doctor. That is it.

Planning-development applications

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and concerns development applications and the objectives of the territory plan. How does ACTPLA deal with a development application for a development which is inconsistent with the objectives of the zone as described in the territory plan but is an allowable assessable development within that zone?

MR BARR: That is a rather technical question and is one that I perhaps will need to take on notice and get the advice of the planning authority, as they will deal with those applications. It is independent of me as minister. I think that, for completeness


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