Page 1997 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 28 June 2023

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I ask the Assembly to note that, in the coroner’s report, the surname of Joshua has been redacted at the request of the family. I would like to express my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Joshua. I know how difficult the unexpected loss of a loved one is, and having to go through a coronial inquiry can make it all the more difficult. My thoughts are with the family and friends.

I would also like to thank Coroner Archer for his extensive and comprehensive report. Coroner Archer made five recommendations related to matters of public safety. Recommendations 3, 4 and 5 are related to Canberra Health Services and the ACT Health Directorate, and the government has agreed to implement recommendations 3, 4 and 5. The government has noted recommendations 1 and 2, which are related to the Australian National University.

As recommended by Coroner Archer under recommendation 3, moving forward, Canberra Health Services will provide guidance and clarity to mental health practitioners and to carers as to the circumstances that would justify the disclosure of personal health information pursuant to principle 10 of the Health Records (Privacy and Access) Act 1997. I recognise that this is a complex issue, and consultation with families and carers will occur.

As recommended by Coroner Archer under recommendation 4, the Chief Psychiatrist has agreed to consider the disclosure of information issues in future reviews of the Mental Health Act 2015. Any future change to the Mental Health Act 2015 will be carefully considered by the Chief Psychiatrist. It is crucial for the right balance between encouraging information sharing and upholding a patient’s right to provide consent to others to access their personal health information to be achieved as those who are accessing mental health services are often at their most vulnerable.

As recommended by Coroner Archer under recommendation 5, a review of the memorandum of understanding with mental health, justice health, alcohol and drug services, and the Australian National University will take place to improve the ability for agencies to share information whilst maintaining privacy. I again thank Coroner Archer for his findings in this matter. My thoughts are with the family and friends of Joshua who have been affected by this loss.

I present the following papers:

Coroners Act, pursuant to subsection 57(4)—Report of Coroner—Inquest into the death of Joshua—

Report, dated 10 February 2023.

Government response, dated June 2023.

Ministerial statement, 28 June 2023.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the ministerial statement.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


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