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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Week 9 Hansard (19 August) . . Page.. 3918..

MRS CROSS (continuing):

Canberra and Calvary hospitals, he was concerned at the lack of human resources available to help in his daughter's care.

Of particular concern was the apparent lack of case managers and mental health case workers available in the ACT. Case workers and managers are extremely important in providing some respite to families, and this constituent spoke very positively about the impact the case manager had on himself, his daughter and his family, when he eventually received one.

Minister, can you inform the Assembly how many mental health case workers/managers there are in the ACT? How many clients, on average, does each of these case workers/managers have? What is the government doing to increase the number of human resources in the area of mental health in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: Since coming to office, the government has significantly increased its level of investment that we, as a community, make in mental health services. Indeed, the level of funding now is the highest it has ever been. It is up from the $80-odd per head of population that the Liberals spent on mental health to about $117 now. I am happy to take on notice the detailed elements of Mrs Cross's question and provide that information to her.

MRS CROSS: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Can the minister inform the Assembly what services are currently available to help provide respite for families that need to care for mentally ill relatives?

MR CORBELL: Again, I am happy to take the question on notice. A range of services is available. I will get the details of those for Mrs Cross.

Canberra Hospital-patient treatment

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. A constituent has raised with me serious concerns about the treatment of her daughter who has had a kidney stone since late June but who has not been scheduled for surgery until 6 October. On 7 July a urologist inserted a stent, hopefully to reduce the pain until the operation, and on 23 July she was added to the category one list. The minister would be aware that patients on the category one waiting list should receive surgery within 30 days. On 12 August Canberra Hospital advised the patient's mother that the patient would not receive surgery until 6 October. In the meantime, her daughter is suffering from excruciating pain-as someone who as suffered from kidney stones I know just how excruciating that is-and she is worried about her traineeship and the future of her employment. Why does this patient have to wait three months to have her kidney stone removed when she has been classified as a category one patient, which means that she should receive treatment within 30 days because she is an urgent case?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mrs Dunne for her question. If Mrs Dunne, outside this chamber, is able to provide my office or me with details about this person-for example, her name and her consulting doctor-I would be happy to inquire into the circumstances of her case and provide that information to Mrs Dunne.

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