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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 11 Hansard (23 October) . .

Page.. 3568..

downsize, people over the age of 60, as part of the ACT government's agenda to abolish stamp duty—one of the worst taxes that is levied by state and territory governments.

Mr Hanson interjecting

MR BARR: That is a very important reform.

Dr Bourke: A point of order.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Dr Bourke.

Dr Bourke: The minister is unable to complete his answer because he is being interrupted by the interjections from the opposition, which is disorderly.

MADAM SPEAKER: I will have to draw Mr Hanson's attention to the good order of the place. If you do persist in shouting across the chamber, you are likely to distract members and you will not get the answers that you are looking for. Mr Barr.

MR BARR: I have completed my answer, Madam Speaker.

Hospitals—elective surgery

DR BOURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, could you update the Assembly on how the ACT is performing in relation to surgery in the ACT public hospital system?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question.

Mr Hanson interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: I was just waiting for the first interjection from Mr Hanson. It took three seconds. A new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare this week showed that Canberra's public hospitals performed a record number of elective surgeries in the 2013-14 year. This is a great result. It is a 50 per cent increase in access to surgery over the last 12 years, despite only a 17 per cent increase in the population over that time.

To put the number of operations in perspective, there were 11,781 elective procedures performed in that year. In our first full year of government we provided a total of 7,661 operations. This marks the fourth consecutive year that more than 11,000 operations were performed in a 12-month period. We have been focusing very much on elective surgery wait times across the public health system.

We have developed partnerships with several local private hospitals, which is certainly helping, and there have been about 1,000 procedures now performed in the private system. The hospitals are planning to perform 12,000 elective surgery procedures in 2014-15 and for the first two months of this financial year 2,170 elective surgery procedures have been performed, which is a 10 per cent increase compared to last year.

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