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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1690..


MR SPEAKER: Members, order! Just one moment, Mr Hargreaves. Members, let us try and conduct this question time. I know there are some interesting issues at hand but let us try and conduct it with a little civility. Mr Hargreaves.

Mr Hargreaves: Thank you, Mr Speaker. The sort of comment that the Leader of the Opposition made in isolation may very well be in a different context altogether, but it was not. It was made in support of the comment that Mr Hanson made. Therefore it was merely an attempt to rephrase the imputation that Mr Hanson had made.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, I stand corrected on the point you made. It was a collective remark and I understand that under the standing orders that is not an imputation. You can now ask your supplementary question.

MR SESELJA: Minister, given this issue was raised with you in the Assembly in December and further through questions in March, what did you then do to satisfy yourself that there was not fiddling of the data in the emergency department?

MS GALLAGHER: I am regularly briefed about data, performance data, right across Health. There are internal and external validation processes that are robust. In the isolated incidence that we have been discussing this morning the evidence or the information to me at this point in time is that there is an individual who has gone around the safeguards that were in place to ensure data integrity, and we need to wait for those appropriate investigations to occur. But in terms of the analysis that I look at—and this is why I believe the data anomaly was not identified—there was a range of other measures in health performance that were indicating improvements in the emergency department. Those go to the bypass figures. Those go to the numbers of people not waiting for care. That goes to the bed occupancy numbers. All of that information, and that is information that is provided on a daily basis, indicated improvements in the emergency department.

I have no doubt that Health take very seriously the fact that they have provided this information to me in good faith, based on the processes that they have in place, and that that information now appears to be incorrect. The work is underway to make sure that those corrections have been made. So I have fulfilled my responsibilities. I have looked at the briefs that have been provided to me. I have analysed the reports. I watch this almost on a daily basis in terms of presentations to the emergency department. But in an isolated case where it appears there has been a going around of safeguards it is very difficult, I think, in this instance—and we will have to learn from any processes that need to change because of it.

I did follow all of these matters up—not necessarily Mr Hanson's interjections. He interjects non-stop.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, what personal responsibility do you take in looking at figures provided by your directorate before presenting them to the community?


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