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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 8 Hansard (20 August) . . Page.. 2916..


MS TUCKER (continuing):

I am assuming that the third point is referring to statements regarding Steve Pratt's motion which, as I have said, was about arson and children. I also read with interest the comments made by Mr Pratt which Mr Wood read out.

In conclusion, I want to say that I am prepared to support a couple of the points in the first part of the motion, although I will listen to the rest of the debate. I will not support the censure unless someone wants to move an amendment to censure the previous Liberal government for its failure, from 1995 to 2001, to implement those significant recommendations that I have just read out. I am not suggesting this amendment should be made.

I think we should not be supporting the approach of political bloodletting so favoured by the Liberal opposition. We should instead be looking together at how we can prevent a similar fire disaster from occurring in the city we all love and care for.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the

debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.34 to 2.30 pm.

Visitors

MR SPEAKER: Before I call for the first question, I wish to acknowledge another group of students from Marist College who are in the gallery.

Questions without notice

Hospital waiting lists

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Health, Mr Corbell. The long-overdue waiting lists for June showed a totally unacceptable number of five patients in category 1 who were overdue for surgery after 30 days. It is considered as potentially life threatening if category 1 patients do not receive surgery within those 30 days. The Canberra Times of 8 August reported that four out of the five were booked in for surgery during July, meaning that one of the patients who should have been seen in June was waiting until August for lifesaving surgery.

Has this patient had his or her surgery yet and why did you fail this patient by not providing lifesaving surgery until August, when the patient should have received it in June?

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, it is quite mischievous of Mr Smyth to describe the lack of that surgery as potentially life threatening, which is essentially what he is doing. Of course, if it was life threatening, if it was a case of life or death, that patient would have had his or her surgery. It would be emergency surgery and the patient would have had it.

Category 1 is the most urgent category of elective surgery. It is not emergency surgery: it is the most urgent category of elective surgery, Mr Smyth, and it is dealt with in accordance with timeframes that are set out by the relevant body. As far as


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