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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 14 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 6102..


MS GALLAGHER: So, despite the numbers—record numbers that have never, ever, been even considered as being—

Mr Smyth: There are increases every year.

MS GALLAGHER: normal activity—that are presenting to the hospital, we are dealing with that—

Mr Smyth: They increase every year.

MS GALLAGHER: and our times are improving—

Mr Smyth: Every year there is a new record.

MS GALLAGHER: and they have been improving for the last year.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Gallagher, one moment, please. Stop the clocks, thank you. I remind members of the opposition, particularly you, Mr Smyth, that the standing orders do not permit constant interjecting when the minister is answering, nor further questioning. There is plenty of time for supplementary questions as part of the question time process.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am very confident that we will continue to improve our timeliness across our emergency departments. In terms of the capital rebuild, the emergency departments at our two public hospitals have to be probably the next significant capital expenditure in terms of the rebuild. We need to build some extra capacity for them to deal with the extra presentations that we are seeing. But I am very confident that the range of measures that we have put in place will ensure that we are seeing people in a more timely fashion.

I would just like, particularly today when the emergency department is under continued stress because of the situation around Queanbeyan, to put on the record—and I hope other members will support me—and acknowledge the incredible work that is being done there and the incredible demand that we have been seeing and the fact that staff are dealing with that demand and responding, and responding as best they can.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, only 56.5 per cent of patients arriving at the emergency department categorised as semi-urgent will be seen within one hour. It was 75 per cent under the previous Liberal government. Minister, are ACT residents receiving timely treatment at the emergency department?

MS GALLAGHER: I am not sure what figures you are using there, but those figures have improved considerably. I think the last figure that I saw for category 3 was in the order of 60 per cent, and I think it was just slightly higher for category 4. Those figures might not be convenient for the purposes of today's discussion, but those figures are reported quarterly and placed on the ACT Health internet site so that


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