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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 February 2010) . . Page.. 491 ..


MS GALLAGHER: There are a whole range of indicators in that report. I do not have the Productivity Commission’s report here. But we are the healthiest community in the country. We do not just use the Productivity Commission’s analysis—

Mr Seselja: You have been asked about the Productivity Commission report and you said it was good.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Seselja. We do not just use, and you should not just use, the ROGS data to measure the health of a health system. You should look at all the indicators and all the measurements, including our quarterly performance report that is on the internet and publicly available and our annual report which is there and publicly available.

I would challenge anyone to stand up in this place and say that we do not have a good health system here. That is what you should do. You should stand up and move a motion that we have a poor health system if that is the line that you are going to run. The thing is that you are cowards and you will not do it. And I do not think you believe it either.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Hanson?

MR HANSON: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, when can Canberrans expect the government to provide shorter elective surgery waiting lists, more dentists, shorter emergency department waiting times and increased levels of bulk-billing?

MS GALLAGHER: I think I have explained the issue on bulk-billing. No territory government of any political colour will be able to influence or control the bulk-billing rate.

In relation to the elective surgery rate, our number has already improved. I think the ROGS data had it at 72. The current data is 63 and I expect further improvement on that. As I have explained in this place a number of times, I could stop access or focus the elective surgery program on those people who have just joined the list. If we were to take that policy decision our numbers would improve out of sight tomorrow, because it is a measure of people’s time who are removed from the list. Again, that is not necessarily the only measure of how your elective surgery program is performing.

In relation to the emergency department waiting times, those numbers have been improving over the past year and I expect that they will continue to improve. I thank the staff who have delivered that outcome. Again, in the areas of pressure where we have been working, investing, listening to staff and changing models of care, we are seeing improvements. Those improvements should be welcomed.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary, please, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. My question of course is to the Minister for Health. Given that the ROGS data, the Productivity Commission’s


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