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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 4 May 2010) . . Page.. 1688 ..

funding over four years which could be used for or be allocated to emergency department care, subacute care or elective surgery. The ACT will also receive an additional $23 million for services such as diabetes care, training of doctors and allied health professionals, and aged care.

Those are essentially the transitional arrangements that will be in place between now and 2014-15. In 2014-15, the new funding formula takes effect fully. From that financial year, the commonwealth can pick up, as I said, 60 per cent of the growth in the cost of hospital care throughout Australia and will accept full responsibility for primary care.

For the first time, from 1 July 2014, there will be automatic increases in commonwealth funding for health in the ACT which will be linked directly to growth in health costs. This is the first time ever that a commonwealth government has been prepared to make that commitment.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, a supplementary?

MR HARGREAVES: Thank you very much, Mr Speaker. Chief Minister, in what way are the special circumstances of the ACT taken into account in the agreement?

MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Hargreaves for the question. It is important, as a result of some of the historical issues that the ACT has had to deal with in the delivery of health care, and we all know what they are—every health minister, most particularly, in every government essentially has had to struggle with a number of inherited or historical facts. They have impacted on things like accident and emergency waiting times and the waiting list. Of course, that goes to the fact that here in the ACT, at our public hospitals, traditionally, and it is averaged out, 26 per cent of occasions of service are provided to residents of New South Wales. Indeed, 30 per cent of all the people on our waiting lists do not live in the ACT. The average across Australia is two per cent.

That is why this is such a significant issue for us. The Queensland and New South Wales premiers talk about Coolangatta-Tweed. The New South Wales and Victorian premiers talk about Albury-Wodonga. But it is here, Canberra-Queanbeyan. The cross-border shift in those jurisdictions at those places on those borders is about two per cent. Here it is 26 per cent of occasions of service and 30 per cent in relation to waiting times. You can imagine the impact of that on us and on services delivered here, and on infrastructure needs and workforce needs, exacerbated of course by the fact that we also have traditionally the lowest number of GPs pro rata.

We also have some embedded historical costs inherited from the commonwealth pre self-government in relation to the costs of staffing in hospitals as a result of issues like superannuation.

In relation to all these historical issues of enormous concern for our capacity to meet waiting times and imposed or agreed times in relation to accident and emergency waiting times, those things need to be taken account of or we will not meet the needs. The Prime Minister, with enormous understanding of our particular situation—(Time expired.)

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