Page 2943 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 12 October 2022

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Ms Lee: Here’s your opportunity to explain and you can’t!

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Ask questions, and we will give you the answers.

Ms Lee: We just did, and you can’t!

MADAM SPEAKER: Members, enough!

MS CASTLEY: Will this latest culture review stop intensive care nurses leaving Canberra’s health system?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: As I also indicated in that earlier response, it is part of the life of an intensive care unit that staff come and staff go. That is quite normal in any workplace. Some of the information I can provide in relation to the tenure of nursing staff in the intensive care unit. The average tenure for nurses working within the intensive care unit at the end of May 2022 is more than six years—6.17 years.

Also, to go to Ms Castley’s earlier point, she noted that 21 nurses had left the intensive care unit. Twenty-two have been recruited over that same period, so it is not short on headcount. In fact, between January 2020 and 25 May 2022, the headcount for nursing staff in the intensive care unit increased by 14.8 per cent.

MR CAIN: Minister, what unit or department of your health system is next on the list for a culture review?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Cain for the question, but I am absolutely flabbergasted. The opposition has spent years saying: “Canberra Health Services, Calvary and the ACT public health system need to take action on culture. It is outrageous that action is not being taken on culture.” That was not true—

Opposition members interjecting

Mr Cain: It’s a very simple question—

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Cain, the minister has been on her feet for 20 seconds.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Now, apparently, it is outrageous that Canberra Health Services is taking action on culture! Now, apparently, if our regular culture surveys identify a hotspot in culture, we should not be doing anything about it! If we identify a hotspot in culture, if we identify an area of the health services—

Ms Castley: Madam Speaker, I wish to raise a point of order. We are not saying that it is inappropriate to have a culture review. We are simply asking: what is the next cab off the rank?

MADAM SPEAKER: There is no point of order. Minister, you are on the floor.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: The point is that when these culture surveys are undertaken, when something comes back and says “this part of the Canberra Health Services is in

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