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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 13 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 4077..


MS GALLAGHER (continuing):

It is true as well that, like the Canberra Hospital, Calvary Public Hospital—as Mr Smyth will know—is a different level of hospital. It is not a tertiary referral centre; it is more of a general hospital in relation to the services that it offers. It is currently at around 120 per cent of benchmark in terms of costs with its peer hospitals. We are looking to reduce that over-national-benchmark figure—as we are at TCH—down to 110 per cent.

So we are seeking reductions in costs at Calvary. But our contract with Calvary is strong. It is done in consultation with them. Of course, they would not sign up to anything that they did not feel was able to be delivered. Under our contract with them, which is around $90 million a year, we give money to Calvary Health Care. We give them some targets and some things we would like them to achieve, and they sign up to that.

In relation to resources, I think any hospital in Australia would tell you that it needs more resources. I have not had a specific request from Calvary—or management—around extra resourcing or heard that they are under significant pressure with the budget that we allocate. In a way, Calvary's management determines the allocation of the budgets—the smaller budgets that are given to run that hospital. In the first instance, I would hope that those discussions are being had at Calvary hospital between management and staff.

I recently met with a number of doctors from Calvary around some of the services that are offered and some concern around the ICU and the cardiac unit that operates there. From their point of view, they would like to see a very significant capital upgrade of those facilities. Whilst I have not been contacted around any criticism of the money that is given from ACT Health to run services, I have had, and am in, discussions with staff at Calvary around capital upgrades. Again, as we discussed yesterday when we spoke about capital requirements of the hospitals, they are significant. I have given an undertaking to Calvary that their request for capital upgrades will be considered by the government in the next budget round.

Disability services—children

MR SPEAKER: I call Mrs Burke. Members, pursuant to standing order 43 and with the leave of the house, Mrs Burke will be permitted to remain seated while she asks her question.

MRS BURKE: Thank you, Mr Speaker, and members. My question is to the minister for disability services. The ACT Disability Advisory Council has released the report of the citizen's jury on community progress towards Challenge 2014—a 10-year vision for disability in the ACT. I note that the report contains reference to parent satisfaction with the adequacy of services available to their children with disabilities being at an average of five out of 10 overall but, more importantly, only four out of 10 for the ACT department of education. Minister, what is your response to this well below average scorecard for services to children with disabilities attending ACT government schools?


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