Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 29 June 2010) . . Page.. 2711 ..
MS GALLAGHER: Sorry, you did; there was one per cent.
Mr Stanhope: One per cent for wages.
MS GALLAGHER: One per cent for a wages offer that was 14 per cent. The government took the decision in 2006 to—
Mr Smyth: How much growth funding for surgery?
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth!
MS GALLAGHER: put health funding on a more sustainable footing so that the health department did not have to come every year—in a sense, the government acknowledged that Health was growing faster than we indexed other agencies. We provided, I think, a realistic growth formula. It sets the challenge to Health to bring down their costs; they have been doing that. They have brought their costs down from 124 per cent of national benchmark to 106 per cent now. So there has been considerable effort on behalf of the department of health to rein in their costs. If we have to top that funding up, we do it based on rigorous analysis of the activity at both hospitals. I would imagine that the opposition would support that. If the activity demonstrates that they need more funding over and above the 6.3 per cent, we deal with that through third party revenues, the Treasurer’s advance. And I will point out for the interest of those opposite that this year there was no call on the Treasurer’s advance for the department of health; they managed their budget very well.
MR HANSON: Supplementary, Mr Speaker. Minister, why is it that we spend more than any other jurisdiction per capita on health, other than the Northern Territory, but we get the worst results in the nation on a broad range of health indicators, including—but not exclusive to it—elective surgery.
MS GALLAGHER: Well, I dispute the allegation or the assertion being put by Mr Hanson that we have the worst health indicators in a broad range of areas, and I challenge you to table your “broad range of areas”. If it is outside the emergency department and elective surgery, where I have openly admitted the need for improvement and indeed—
MR HANSON: Access block?
MS GALLAGHER: We are one of the best on access block, Mr Hanson, and I have heard the Liberal Party measure themselves against the Liberal Government in WA: go and have a look at WA’s emergency department performance, Mr Hanson. Go and have a look. They report openly on their website in the metropolitan areas. Go and have a look at it, because it measures hospital by hospital, and their emergency department performance is worse than ours.
So there is your measure, if you think we are the worst. But I have been here in this place saying that we need to improve performance. And, indeed, I should say in emergency department, Mr Speaker, I think this is the third consecutive quarter of