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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . .

Page.. 153..


MS FITZHARRIS: I will take that question on notice.

MR WALL: Minister, how often was the Canberra Hospital over 90 per cent capacity between 1 October 2017 and today? I assume that is on notice as well.

MS FITZHARRIS: I will take that on notice; that is a very detailed question.

Canberra Hospital—patient safety

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, I refer to a recent case where a woman successfully sued the ACT government for compensation. She had presented to the Canberra Hospital emergency department suffering from salmonella poisoning in December 2013. A drunken man was placed unsupervised in a bed next to her. The man sexually assaulted the woman after she took medication and fell asleep. Justice Elkaim ruled that "the warnings to the defendant stemming from his conduct upon and after his admission were such that he simply should not have been placed in the same ward as the plaintiff". Minister, given that the man's behaviour was a clear warning sign that he was a danger to other patients, why was he placed, unsupervised, in a bed next to another patient and, in particular, a woman?

MS FITZHARRIS: I note the resolution of this case occurred very recently. I will take the question on notice, knowing that it has been the subject of a recently completed legal case.

MRS JONES: Minister, what duty of care does ACT Health owe to patients to treat them in a safe environment free from foreseeable harm?

MS FITZHARRIS: Clearly ACT Health has a strong duty of care and upholds that with great professionalism and seriousness. Clearly in this incident in 2013 I recall where that did not happen, and it has been the subject of resolution in the courts recently.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what have you done to satisfy yourself that a similar event could not happen again at the Canberra Hospital or are you just simply unbriefed?

MS FITZHARRIS: Advice from my directorate is that all measures have been taken to ensure that this cannot happen again.

Budget—government investment

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, the government has just delivered the budget update, which I see includes even more new investment in city-building infrastructure. How is the government investing for Canberra's growth?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. Members would be aware that the ACT's population growth has been well in excess of other states and territories in recent times, and that has led to a need to contemplate a population of half a million


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