Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 3 Hansard (28 February) . . Page.. 951..
MS PORTER: Minister, could you inform the Assembly about the electronic systems that we have between the Canberra Hospital and the Calvary Hospital?
MS GALLAGHER: There have, in the past, been issues about different IT systems operating between the two hospitals. The collaboration that has occurred over recent years means we are addressing those particular areas in relation specifically to ICU and through the implementation of EDIS, although that was delayed due to some of the concerns that had been raised with the unauthorised changes to the data that occurred last year.
Increasingly, as we implement new IT systems, we are very mindful of the fact that it is important to make sure that both of our hospitals are connected and are able to speak to each other in the modern health world.
MR COE: My question is for the Minister for Health. Yesterday the Institute of Health and Welfare issued their report on Australian hospital statistics. These stats are used to secure funding from the commonwealth government, which we missed entirely last year, and this year it is $800,000. Minister, the results of this are reported as, and I quote:
... patients in the ACT were the least likely in Australia to be seen and discharged or admitted within 4 hours.
Minister, after 12 years in government and six of those with you as health minister, why are ACT patients still the least likely in the country to be seen on time?
MS GALLAGHER: I thank Mr Coe for the question. I think this is a similar question to the one that was asked last sitting period. It is exactly the same data and the reasons for it and issues around it are exactly as I answered last time.
I would say, in the spirit of the bipartisan support that Mr Hanson indicated during the last sitting week—and I spoke to a couple of emergency department staff when I was out at the hospital at lunchtime—it would be nice occasionally if the focus was actually on all the hard work that is done to achieve targets. The staff are very focused on this. The government has provided the resources that the staff have requested that would allow them to better implement the four-hour rule. They are working away at that now. We have capital works underway. We have new staff being recruited to fill positions and to generate extra capacity.
But the reality is that we have two hospitals that are incredibly busy. When you look at the jurisdictions that are struggling—indeed, New South Wales is struggling under the NEAT report as well—they are hospitals that have very busy emergency departments.
So the work is being done. I am very confident that the NEAT targets will be met. I welcome the opportunity to speak about the elective surgery figure, which was