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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 9 Hansard (19 September) . . Page.. 2873..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

creates some conflict from time to time, but I am hopeful that we can work through a lot of that.

MRS DUNNE: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. So minister, what are you going to do as the Minister for Health to resolve the inherent conflict in the system and thereby resolve the waiting lists?

MS GALLAGHER: I think I just answered that. One of the measures is for me to attend several forums—not special forums but meetings that already exist between surgeons and doctors at the hospital who meet with the department of health regularly about issues that they see. I am going to attend some of those.

I want to talk with the doctors about areas where we can further improve, from their point of view: where are the areas that we can further improve access to our hospitals. It is access in general that there are often complaints about. I have already outlined a range of measures in my previous answer—the commissioning of an extra theatre; the extension of the operating theatre; the additional $10.4 million in this budget, which will provide an extra 300 operations on top of the extra 500 operations that were performed last year; looking at our relationship with private providers; and looking at the role delineation between the Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital. These are all areas where I think we can improve access to the hospital and access to services within the hospital.

We also have the access improvement program, which is already delivering improvements in particular areas within the health system. There is a lot of work going on and we are seeing the benefits of that. It does not happen overnight, but it has certainly happened.

The information provided in all of our reporting on the health system is certainly showing that there is a range of measures which are delivering improvements. But there are more improvements that can be done and all of this is being done in an era of increased demand for services. I think we are heading the right way, but there is more work to be done. I have been pretty open about what measures we are doing and where we are going to focus our energies in improving access to the health system.

Environment—greenhouse gas emissions

MR GENTLEMAN: My question is to the Minister for the Territory and Municipal Services. I am glad that the minister indicated earlier that he wanted to discuss climate change. I have noticed recent press reports about action being taken in South Australia to implement various schemes to abate greenhouse gas emissions. Today, the Premier announced the installation of wind turbines on government buildings. What action has the ACT government taken to date to address some of the issues of climate change?

MR HARGREAVES: I thank Mr Gentleman for the question. I also thank Dr Foskey for her interest. The vehemence of her interest is exhibited by the way in which she is contributing to our greenhouse gas emissions from the motorcar as she wanders down Belconnen Way in her search for self-aggrandisement. I certainly hope that she finds it.


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