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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 2 Hansard (17 February) . .

Page.. 510..

MR SMYTH: Minister, does the reference also mention the Tradies clubs of the ACT?

MR GENTLEMAN: I will have to take that on notice. I do not have that before me.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Wall.

MR WALL: Minister, is it possible that the reference was made whilst Ms Burch was still the Minister for Gaming and Racing? If so, what part would she have played in the handling of that reference from the royal commission?

MR GENTLEMAN: I think that is a hypothetical question. I do not have any of that information.

MADAM SPEAKER: No, it is not hypothetical. It is asking about times.

MR GENTLEMAN: I do not have any information of that nature in front of me.

Health—elective surgery

MS BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the government's strategy to reduce the waiting list for long-wait patients on the elective surgery list?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Burch for her question. On becoming Minister for Health I indicated that one of my key priorities was to improve timeliness of access to acute care services, and one of those, clearly, is access to elective surgery. The elective surgery long-wait list had grown to an unacceptable level. By working closely with my directorate we have put in place a very comprehensive strategy to eliminate, or largely eliminate, the number of people waiting for surgery longer than the clinically indicated time frames.

I announced late last year that the government would make provision for a further thousand elective surgery operations, directly targeting patients who were on the long-wait surgery list, at a cost of $11.8 million. When I made that announcement there were more than 1,200 people currently waiting for elective surgery longer than the clinically indicated time frames, the majority of whom were waiting for orthopaedic, urology and ear, nose and throat surgery.

I am delighted to inform the Assembly that, as a result of the initiative the government has put in place, 444 people have been removed from that list of 1,200 people who had been waiting for long-wait elective surgery procedures. This is an excellent result. It means there are 444 more Canberrans and people from the surrounding region who have got the surgery that they need and have been removed from that long-wait list.

This is a result of the hard work of our surgeons, our anaesthetists, surgical nurses, the ACT health surgical task force and many, many others. This is a great outcome. We have been able to achieve this outcome by engaging more locum doctors where there

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