Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 12 Hansard (22 October) . . Page.. 3603..
MADAM SPEAKER: I will remind members that they should direct their comments to the chair. Have you finished, Chief Minister?
MS GALLAGHER: Yes, Madam Speaker.
Health Directorate—workplace injuries
MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health Over the past five years, the rate of workplace injury of the Health Directorate staff has been slowly decreasing. Great! However, last year the number of injuries reported to WorkCover increased by five times, the first increase since 2006. What has caused the sudden increase in serious workplace injuries to the hardworking Health Directorate staff?
MS GALLAGHER: I think it is more related to better reporting of incidents of concern within the hospital. There has been a huge amount of effort put in in the last 12 to 18 months to ensure that people are reporting incidents through our RiskMan process. We have also been working with WorkSafe around reportable incidents and training staff around that.
I am not aware of any significant increase, certainly not a five-fold increase, in injuries to Health staff. I think it is probably more a matter of reporting, and that should be encouraged.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Has the increase in workplace injuries, or possibly reporting, at the Health Directorate resulted in more Comcare claims? If so, how many?
MS GALLAGHER: I would have to take that on notice in relation to the specific number of claims. In terms of managing, there are two elements to it, because there is Calvary and ACT Health. They are covered under workers comp, obviously. I would have to take some further advice on the numbers going to claims. But I would say, again, that the director-general in particular has put in an enormous effort to encourage staff to come forward, because this of course relates to workplace culture and environment as well, and where there are concerns to report those concerns and have them investigated and addressed. So I think that even though it may tell a negative story, there is a positive undercurrent to it, which is that people are feeling that they work in an environment where they can report concerns about their workplace.
MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, has the increase in workplace injuries resulted in higher Comcare premiums? If yes, how much?
MS GALLAGHER: Again, not noticeably. Calvary had an increase in their workers comp premium this year. So not across ACT Health to any great degree, other than that the workers comp premium is going up across government. We are doing a