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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1639..


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am, made a formal recognition that the Assembly was meeting on the lands of the traditional custodians, and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Canberra Hospital—emergency department data

Statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation), by leave: This morning I would like to provide the Assembly with information regarding the Canberra Hospital emergency department data issues.

Firstly, I would like to inform members of the decision by the Minister for Health, Ms Katy Gallagher MLA, to step aside from the investigation and audit process currently underway in relation to the matter. Ms Gallagher has asked me to take ministerial carriage of this matter.

Ms Gallagher has acknowledged that she knew the officer involved, in a professional capacity. However, Ms Gallagher has also acknowledged that the officer involved has a personal relationship with a relative of hers. It is for this reason that the Chief Minister has decided to step aside from the investigation to resolve any concerns or allegations of a potential conflict of interest.

As members may already be aware, the ACT government Health Directorate has identified discrepancies in the emergency department data reported by the Canberra Hospital. These discrepancies relate to statistics about waiting and treatment times in the ED but do not impact in any way on the standard of care provided.

Whilst this is a serious matter affecting the accuracy of the directorate's data reporting, I would like to stress that it in no way reflects the quality of care in the Canberra Hospital emergency department or the professionalism of the doctors, nurses and allied health staff within the ED.

A preliminary investigation into this matter has resulted in a senior administrative staff member at the hospital being stood down pending an independent formal investigation.

There are a number of formal investigations that will now follow. The first is an audit of data integrity within the emergency department information system at the Canberra Hospital. This audit will be conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. PWC have commenced preliminary work on this audit and have met with key staff over the past week. This audit is expected to take several weeks.

The second audit has been referred to the ACT Auditor-General and will be an audit of data integrity within all information management assets throughout the Health


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