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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1581 ..


This year's CAP expo brought together a diverse range of more than 100 social, recreational, cultural, artistic and sporting groups from across Canberra. These groups are inclusive of all abilities and ages, with a focus on wellbeing and social inclusion. The CAP expo gives people a chance to participate in their community, because only by working together can we ensure that Canberra is a more inclusive city, which I am sure is an objective that we all share.

Hospitals—discharge policy

MS LEE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. I refer to media reports on 3 May this year about an elderly woman who was discharged from Calvary hospital hours after testing positive for influenza. She is living with her family, including a granddaughter who has had problems with pneumonia. The family has had to buy face masks and protective outer wear as a precaution. I seek leave to table the media story for the minister's reference.

Leave granted.

MS LEE: I table the following paper:

Family at flu risk from released patient—Isentia media item, dated 3 May 2018.

Minister, why did Calvary hospital discharge this woman only hours after she was diagnosed with influenza?

MS FITZHARRIS: I recall that Calvary made comment in the media report. It would be my expectation that Calvary would only discharge patients if it was clinically safe to do so. If there is anything further to add, I will provide further advice to the Assembly.

MS LEE: Minister, are Calvary Public Hospital and Canberra Hospital discharging patients before it is clinically recommended due to the ongoing crisis in the health system?

MS FITZHARRIS: Not to my knowledge.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, what guarantees will you give to the Assembly and to the people of the ACT that patients will not be discharged from hospital before it is clinically recommended during this flu season?

MS FITZHARRIS: I note extensive comments this morning from the opposition about the hard work of doctors and nurses. It is the doctors who make the decision on whether or not to discharge patients. I expect that they will do so based on clinically sound evidence.

I would note, in my comments around Calvary, a snapshot of occupancy as of 3 May this year. Occupancy rates at Canberra Hospital were 94 per cent. Occupancy rates at Calvary Public Hospital were 68 per cent. We have capacity in our health system; it


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