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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 8 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3654..


MR SESELJA (continuing):

that lead to potential clinical risks, so that we do not have more damning reports as we have seen recently?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Seselja for the question. I think if there are lessons to be learnt through the obstetrics review, they are around ensuring—and I think ACT Health has learnt this through the series of events that have occurred since February—the monitoring of workplace satisfaction and being very early to respond to any concerns that may arise at the workplace at that immediate level. There is a lot of effort going in to improve processes in ACT Health, not just in maternity but across the board, to make sure that if there are issues they are picked up early and responded to. We do have a pretty good system of matching up increases in activity with necessary increases in staffing, but it is always a juggling act with the health budget. You can always do more. You can always pour in more money. So there is, I guess, a process of prioritising as well, and we just make those decisions year by year about where the best use of that money is. Indeed, in November last year, we did recognise that there needed to be some extra staffing in this unit, and that was actioned very quickly.

Hospitals—ambulance bypasses

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. Have ambulances been required to bypass either Canberra Hospital or Calvary hospital at any stage over the past three months? If so, how often have ambulances had to bypass these hospitals?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. You are not getting your daily bypass figures any longer? Mr Smyth used to get the bypass figures before me. We never did work out who was providing them to him, but obviously that person has moved on.

Mr Smyth: You are assuming that; you do not know what I know now.

MS GALLAGHER: It was always one of those ones where we scratched our heads—

Mr Coe interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Smyth had his media release out before the data came across my desk, but we never did find out who that was. We might have to go and match it up.

Mr Smyth: And you never shall.

MS GALLAGHER: Fair enough. I must say that I did have to let that one go and just accept that you would be the first receiver of that knowledge and it was not really a huge catastrophe. Mr Smyth, I am very happy to provide you with that information. There have been occurrences of bypass, definitely in the last three months—certainly nowhere near the levels of when you were revelling in the figures, but there certainly has been on occasion a period of usually two hours. It has not been very often, but I will find that information out.


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