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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 November 2010) . . Page.. 5546 ..


to manage people who do not need the services of a specialised outpatient acute service as well. I know the public system works very hard to provide that level of service to the community.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, in the same article another patient was quoted as saying, “The type of services offered to us at the Canberra Hospital is minuscule. We get a very poor service compared to almost anywhere else.” Minister, why is it that diabetes patients consider the ACT diabetes service to be inferior to interstate services?

MS GALLAGHER: As I said, we take patient feedback very seriously—comments that people make around the adequacy of their service. I have to say it is not a view that I think is shared by everybody, but that is not to say that we cannot improve our service to people in the ACT.

This is an area of growth. It is challenging to meet that level of demand for service, but we try very hard. The staff in the diabetes service work very hard to do that, and I am very confident that with new non-government services and the appointment of a clinical director position we will be able to address some of the concerns that patients have.

MRS DUNNE: A supplementary question, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mrs Dunne.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, why are both doctors and patients complaining about diabetes services in the ACT?

MS GALLAGHER: I think I have explained what concerns the doctors have around the appointment—essentially around the model of the service and the appointment of the clinical director position. Those are different issues from the issues that have been raised by the patients in the article that the Canberra Liberals are quoting from around access to service. What we are trying to do is actually build up the service in the community so that there is less reliance on coming to the hospital, particularly for those people that can be managed adequately in the community. That is the tender that is out at the moment for provision by a non-government provider. I think there is more we can do in this area. We have allocated the funds. The funds will flow through. I hope that, for those patients that are unhappy with their care, they see improvements in access to service.

Electricity—cost

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Energy. Can the minister advise the Assembly how the government is helping low income earners deal with energy price increases?


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