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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 5 Hansard (1 May) . . Page.. 1693..

Canberra Hospital—emergency department data

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in a briefing provided to me and my staff by the Director-General of Health it was stated that the manipulation of data began in late 2010. Since then, your directorate has prepared and released four quarterly reports, an annual report and two report cards. Why was the anomaly in the data only discovered on 5 April 2012?

MS GALLAGHER: In relation to that, the information I have had up until Friday was that it was the external validation process that identified the initial anomaly and it was around how the data had been put into a certain format that picked it up. The AIHW raised their concerns with the Health Directorate, who then went through a process of going back and looking at that issue that they had raised and they found a broader issue which they then brought to my attention.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Minister, it was stated by your Director-General that the anomaly was discovered in an external verification process. Why is it that this was not applied to the data in the quarterly reports, annual report or report cards?

MS GALLAGHER: Because that data is a different publication. The publication that was picked up by the external validation process was for a publication known as Australian hospital statistics. The Quarterly performance report and the annual report are not subject to AIHW external validation processes, but there are internal validation processes which seek to ensure the accuracy of the data. In the case relating to the emergency department, it appears that the data may have been changed following those validation processes.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary.

MR SESELJA: Minister, when will corrected quarterly reports, the annual report and report cards be provided to the community?

MS GALLAGHER: As soon as they can be. It is subject to the forensic audit which is currently underway by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

MR SPEAKER: Supplementary, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Minister, given the failure by the Health Directorate to provide accurate data to the community, what assurances can you provide that the updated reports will contain accurate data?

MS GALLAGHER: Because at this point in time, on the information provided to me, it is isolated to emergency department waiting times. They are going back and being checked against individual clinical records to ensure their accuracy and that information will form the corrections of those publications.

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