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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 8 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3575..


Health—spinal cord injuries (Question No 1643)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 28 June 2011:

(1) Approximately how many people per annum from Canberra acquire a significant spinal cord injury and how many of those people are treated in Canberra versus Sydney.

(2) What rehabilitation services are provided in the ACT for people with newly acquired spinal cord injuries.

(3) Under what circumstances are people sent to Sydney for treatment of newly acquired spinal cord injuries.

(4) What impact will the proposed closure of the Ryde Rehab Unit have on those people from Canberra who have spinal injuries.

(5) What involvement does ACT Health have with a person from Canberra who is in Sydney to receive treatment, but is to return home to Canberra.

(6) Does the Age Care and Rehabilitation Service have a policy of only providing treatment to people with spinal cord injuries up to 18 months after their injury; if so, why.

(7) Is the ACT Government considering providing more beds to assist people with rehabilitation from a spinal cord injury through the proposed third hospital; if so, what numbers of beds or specific services is the ACT Government considering.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) In 2009, 2 spinal injury patients were treated in the ACT, 6 went to Prince of Wales Hospital and 1 to Royal Talbot Spinal Rehabilitation Unit in Melbourne.

In 2010, 4 spinal injury patients were treated in the ACT, 4 went to Prince of Wales Hospital, 1 to Royal North Shore Hospital, 1 to Sydney Children's Hospital and 1 to Royal Talbot Spinal Rehabilitation Unit in Melbourne.

(2) The Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Care (RACC) inpatient service provides rehabilitation for some people with newly acquired spinal cord injuries. These include specialist medical services, specialist nurse practitioner service, 24 hour rehabilitation nursing care, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, clinical psychology, disability counselling, vocational assessment, driving assessment and comprehensive discharge planning. For patients returning home, services are also provided by the RACC Community Rehabilitation Team. The RACC team also provide support to the patient's family.

(3) All spinal trauma injuries with or without cord injuries, are managed acutely at the Canberra Hospital. Most patients with spinal column trauma and no cord injury are stabilised at the Canberra Hospital and most with neurological deficits due to spinal cord injury are sent to one of the Spinal Units in Sydney.


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