Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 16 November 2005) . . Page.. 4229 ..
To date, the ACT Labor government has invested significantly in quality and safety. Furthermore, the government is increasing its investment in quality and patient safety infrastructure, allocating half a million dollars in 2005-06, increasing to $900,000, or $0.9 million, each year from 2006-07 onwards. This additional investment in quality infrastructure is one way of further supporting our drive to provide the best possible health care services to the people of the ACT.
This initiative will provide for the identification of areas where errors are made in our public hospitals, such as the provision of medication and hospital acquired infections—and the development of programs and mechanisms to address and eliminate these problems. ACT Health has established territory-wide reference groups to focus on key priority areas, monitor the development of evidence-based clinical practice and reduce clinical risks, including falls prevention and the quality use of medicines.
Recent policy initiatives include the mandatory reporting of significant incidents policy and the Health Professionals Act 2004. These initiatives will ensure that clinicians have the appropriate skills and experience necessary to provide safe care, that all significant incidents are reported and actioned, and that an appropriate process is in place to manage complaints about clinicians. These incident monitoring and clinical review programs will identify areas of concern and refer them to specific committees for investigation and follow up.
I would like to thank Mr Patterson who initiated this investigation when he was Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner. I also thank Mr Philip Moss, the outgoing Community and Health Services Complaints Commissioner, for his diligent efforts in putting together this comprehensive investigation. I thank the relevant staff of the commission for their work. I also want to thank the obstetric staff at the Canberra Hospital for their patience and cooperation during what would have been a difficult time for them, and congratulate them on their continuing high standard of care.
MR STANHOPE (Ginninderra—Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for the Environment and Minister for Arts, Heritage and Indigenous Affairs) (3.48): Mr Speaker, at the outset I congratulate Ms MacDonald for the motion that is being debated by the Assembly today. This is a very important and timely motion in the context of events, particularly in relation to a young Australian citizen facing the death penalty in Singapore and issues in relation to a number of young Australians facing criminal trial in Indonesia. At the moment there is public awareness of and public sensitivity to issues around the application of the death penalty. There is a need from time to time for parliaments and politicians, and for community leaders, to reaffirm the commitment that Australia has made as a nation to oppose the death penalty at any time and for any crime.
I think it is important that we are today debating this motion. I think it is important for Australia to restate—and to immediately restate in the bluntest terms—its total