Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5545 ..
MS GALLAGHER: I think the question deserves a comprehensive answer around numbers of public patients travelling interstate for public diabetes care. Obviously some people with diabetes will access private care and they may do that in New South Wales; I cannot answer that side of the question. I think there are some issues around workforce, around special—
Mr Hanson: You just said our service was on par—
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson!
MS GALLAGHER: That is my understanding and that is the advice that I have. I will go and check the detail.
Mr Hanson: That contradicts your previous answer.
MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. You have asked your question.
MS GALLAGHER: I think your question went to a number of details about wait times and around travelling interstate. I do not have that data on me but I will undertake to get back to Mr Hanson with that information.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary question?
MR HANSON: Minister, in the same article one patient is quoted as saying:
You’ll hear favourable comments about specific people within the system … But as a system as a whole, nobody’s got anything good to say about it. They are failing the diabetes community because they do not have the resources.
Minister, why are patients saying that the system is failing them and that the system does not have adequate resources?
MS GALLAGHER: I think there are excellent staff working within the diabetes system. But I do not think you would look at any part of the health system and say there is not demand for services and, at times, waits to access those services. That is a reality of every public health system in the world, and it is how you manage that.
There is significant growth in demand for outpatient services across the public health system. Indeed, that is by far outstripping the demand for inpatient services at this point in time. Extra resources have been put into the diabetes service. We take patient feedback very seriously and look to improve our service where we can. But there are demands, Mr Hanson, and ACT Health works very hard to address those areas of demand and provide a quality service to the people of the ACT.
As I said, I expect over the next few budgets that more money will be going into this area as the demand from the community increases around their needs for diabetes care, particularly for type 2 diabetes, which is linked to lifestyle. As those numbers increase, we will need to do more. But part of that is that we need to do more in the community