Page 1841 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 June 2022

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the weekend. We have talked about it previously in relation to the education system and our schools, and Mr Steel was not able to attend question time today. All workplaces, public and private, are experiencing these issues of high levels of unplanned leave that are resulting in staff shortages.

These issues are further compounded by a shortage of nurses and other health professionals internationally, and we are working to tackle that issue. That is something I spoke about in March in my ministerial statement about the health workforce. I outlined the work the government is doing to ensure that we have a sustainable and highly skilled workforce to provide care to the ACT and surrounding regions. We have recruited more graduates than ever before. We are working to ensure that we recruit allied health staff to support our nurses and doctors in making sure that there is timely discharge of patients. Our allied health teams can do that very well alongside those in the emergency department and the changing models of care.

In my March statement I spoke about the Canberra Health Services 2022-23 Nursing and Midwifery Workforce Plan that was released during Nurses and Midwives Week in May. I recognise that the ANMF has some concerns about that plan, but they have also acknowledged that at least that work is happening and at least there is a plan. This is the specific workforce plan—running ahead of the territory-wide workforce planning—to ensure that strategies and actions are getting started while work continues on the broader workforce planning that I have talked about in my amendment today. Ms Castley should be well aware of the workforce planning that is occurring in this space and the work that is being undertaken, given that this was also referred to in the FOI for the motion.

As I have said, the health directorate is currently continuing to refine reporting and data collection and working with the health services to automate this reporting, which will include a better view of compliance across a shift rather than at a single point in time. Canberra Health Services will be putting into operation an IT system for this automation from July. As part of this work, the directorate is working on testing compliance measures with the steering committee, of which the ANMF is a member, to ensure they accurately reflect the span of time that compliance needs to be in place. So, we will not just be publishing the roster or the start of the shift as Queensland does, but will be going well beyond what Ms Castley is asking us to do by collecting and publishing data for across the shift as well.

The directorate is also already working on developing a public interface of reporting health services data not dissimilar to the Queensland Health format, and access to compliance data from health services will be available for the community to see. The government is committed to ensuring the reporting requirements of the framework are provided. I commend my amendment to the Assembly. I thank Ms Castley for raising this important issue, but I also correct many of her misunderstandings.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Pettersson): Ms Stephen-Smith, I have reflected on your speech, and you used some unparliamentary language. I ask that you withdraw that.

Ms Stephen-Smith: I am sorry; I withdraw.

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