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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 May 1995) . . Page.. 395 ..


discussed the report with the Auditor-General and his officers on 6 June 1994, and also with the Acting Chief Executive of the Department of Health on 20 June. Following further consideration, the PAC report on the review of the Auditor-General's report was tabled on 7 December last year. It made three recommendations and two requests.

The Department of Health and Community Care has noted the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. It either has implemented them or is currently taking action to implement them. The department has also prepared responses to the requests of the committee included in the report. The committee's recommendations and requests have assisted the process of continued improvement in the management of grants within the Department of Health and Community Care.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

NATIONAL HEART WEEK

Ministerial Statement

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on National Heart Week.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: This week is National Heart Week and in the Assembly today I would like to address this subject and the direction the Government intends to take in the area of cardiology. Cardiovascular disease is the largest cause of death in Australia today, killing around 53,000 men and women a year. That is one Australian every 10 minutes. Sadly, heart attack is the greatest single cause of premature death for both men and women. In the ACT both male and female cardiovascular death rates per 100,000 are lower than in the rest of Australia. However, the differences within age groups are relatively small. The 1989-90 national health survey and the 1989 national health foundation study showed the ACT to be significantly better than or similar to the Australian average in terms of cardiovascular conditions and health risk factors. There is, however, no room for complacency. I am not saying that the Government is able to stop people from dying of heart attacks, but we can work towards lowering the numbers through better health practices and awareness programs.

A major initiative was the development of “ACT Health Goals and Targets for the year 2000”, which was released by the previous Government. I think they should be congratulated for that. The chapter on cardiovascular health is quite specific in its direction. The goals are: To increase coordination between ACT cardiovascular services and agencies; to reduce mortality due to cardiovascular conditions; to reduce the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in the community; and to improve the quality of life of people with cardiovascular conditions. The Department of Health and Community Care, in partnership with community and other interested agencies, will strive to achieve these goals. One major factor in achieving these goals will be the continuing work of


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