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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 24 June 2010) . . Page.. 2418 ..

Minister, have ACT Health at any stage approached doctors to request that patients be downgraded from urgent to a lower category?

I said that was not in accordance with the policy. If you have read the policy and if you have even read the letter, you will see that that is not the case. Health is not asking them to downgrade their patients.

Mr Seselja: Only if they want surgery.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, please!

MS GALLAGHER: What they are saying is: “This patient of yours that you have categorised as a category 1 is not going to be able to be seen within the 30 days on your lists. So here are some options: one, a surgery time outside of category 1. If that is acceptable clinically, then obviously they are not a category 1 patient. Then you can refer to another surgeon.”

Mr Seselja: It doesn’t say that.

Mr Hanson: Don’t do a further mislead.

Mr Smyth: If they haven’t got their surgery, they are not category 1.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister is answering the question.

MS GALLAGHER: They are not interested in the answer because it does not fit with their campaign. “You can see another surgeon. In that case, refer on. The third option is to create additional operating space for that surgeon to do that work if the patient remains a category 1.”

Mr Hargreaves: Mr Speaker, on your comment to me, I heard Mr Hanson use the word “mislead”. If he does it again, I am going to seek a withdrawal.

MR SPEAKER: Sit down, Mr Hargreaves. A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, is it true—

Mr Hargreaves: I don’t care, Jeremy. You don’t impress me.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves!

Mr Hargreaves: You don’t impress me.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves!

MR SMYTH: Minister, is it not true that, as a result of this practice, your category 1 figures are fraudulent?

Mr Hargreaves: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, is “fraudulent” on that list of unparliamentary expressions?

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