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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2417 ..

measure. In the context of this debate, it is but one of the many opportunities that are there for the schooling system to assist students to have a safe learning environment.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary question?

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, who does the safety task force report to and when can you expect to receive a report from them?

MR BARR: The Safe Schools Taskforce report regularly to me as minister. They have one particular reporting day, and in fact I interact quite regularly with them. I am often referring matters to them. They have some self-referral powers as well, so they have taken it upon themselves to look at particular areas of work. It is an ongoing process. It is not something where I have said, “You will give one report and that is the end of your work.” They have been in place since 2007, I believe, and will continue their work in the months and years ahead.


MR SPEAKER: Before we move on to the next question, I would like to indicate to members that we have people attending a seminar today from the University of the Third Age joining us in the gallery for question time, and I again welcome them to the Assembly.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—waiting times

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, your department sends a letter to visiting medical officers whose patients are at risk of not receiving surgery within the 30-day target for surgery in category 1. It gives the option to doctors of accepting a surgery date which falls outside the time limit. The doctor is then asked to reschedule their patient as category 2a in order to secure a date for surgery. Why does your department follow this procedure and when was it adopted?

MS GALLAGHER: I will check the date of that letter. There are different letters that are sent to doctors, depending on the nature of the discussion between the surgical bookings area, so I will check the date of that letter. The policy came into place on 1 January 2008. It replaced a policy that had been in place since January 2004. That letter is used to alert surgeons in circumstances where their category 1 patients are unable to be booked for surgery within the recommended 30 days during their standard operating times, and it gives them several options to follow.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary?

MR HANSON: Yes, Mr Speaker. Minister, you said on Tuesday that this practice was not in accordance with ACT Health policy. Is that statement still true?

MS GALLAGHER: What I said on Tuesday, when you reflect on the Hansard, was in response to a supplementary question from you, Mr Hanson, in which you said:

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