Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2022 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 4 May 2022) . . Page.. 1185 ..
challenges that have been placed on them as a result of this international health pandemic, which is not finished yet. We are still feeling, unfortunately, the impacts of that. That is directly impacting the staff shortages in our schools.
As a result of all of those complex issues that I have described, it is a complicated space for our school staff. What a refreshing thing it would be if this government and all members in this place joined together and supported our school staff, acknowledged the difficult time that they have had and that they continue to have, and actually allowed them to get on with their work. The Education Directorate will continue to work with them closely to do that.
Health services—PET scans
MS CASTLEY: My question is directed to the Minister for Health. Recently I met with a patient who has stage 4 incurable pancreatic cancer. She and others need regular PET scans. While Queanbeyan patients have the cost of PET scans met by the hospital, in Canberra there is a cost—they have to pay. On December 16 last year, this patient met with your senior adviser to ask why Canberra patients are being charged different fees—anywhere from $600 to $800 for the same PET scan. Minister, can you explain why this patient is still waiting for a response from your office four months after this meeting?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Castley for the question. I will follow up. I am very sorry to hear that this individual is in the circumstances that they are, and that they are still awaiting a response from my office. I will definitely follow that up. I will take the question on notice and come back to the Assembly and let them know. Obviously, my office has been very busy, but we do endeavour to get back to people as quickly as possible, particularly in those kinds of circumstances.
MS CASTLEY: I have a supplementary question. Minister, why doesn’t the Canberra hospital cover the cost of PET scans like the New South Wales hospitals do?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: There are a range of circumstances in which Canberra Health Services does have patient charges in place. Again, I will take the detail of the question on notice in relation to the PET scans, but there are also arrangements for those charges to be waived in circumstances where people would have financial difficulties. Again, I will take it on notice to provide some further detail to the Assembly in relation to all of that is managed.
MS LAWDER: Minister, why are Canberra’s cancer patients being charged different fees for the same PET scans?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Lawder for the supplementary question. The ACT health system and the New South Wales health system are separate systems and there are separate, different arrangements in place between the two jurisdictions.
Planning—ACT Planning System Review and Reform Project
MS ORR: My question is to the Minister for Planning and Land Management. Minister, there have been many questions about consultation on the Planning System