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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 10 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 September 2011) . . Page.. 4052 ..


immediately so, in the short term and despite the extra operating theatres that have been brought on, in the short term it has to be around operating theatre utilisation, Queanbeyan hospital, private sector, and also encouraging people to lead healthier lifestyles so that they do not end up on the elective surgery waiting list.

MR HARGREAVES: A supplementary.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hargreaves.

MR HARGREAVES: Chief Minister, can you advise what percentage of activity elective surgery represents when compared with the overall hospital activity?

Mr Hanson: She just said 50 per cent.

MS GALLAGHER: No. I am sorry, Mr Hanson, you are wrong there. You are always quick with the answer. It is just that you never listen to the question. What Mr Hargreaves asked was actually what percentage elective surgery represents when compared to overall hospital activity.

Mrs Dunne: Is that what he meant to say?

MS GALLAGHER: That is actually what he said. If you lot were not interjecting as much as you were, you probably would have heard. This is where, I think, we need to understand that elective surgery is only a part of hospital activity. In fact, it constitutes about 17 per cent of all hospital inpatient activity. In fact, there are a whole load of things that are done, about 83 per cent of the work in public hospitals, which are actually not related to elective surgery. For example, last financial year we provided 100,000 inpatient episodes of care, 110,000 emergency department treatments, 350,000 outpatient services. These cover things like cardiology, renal medicine, respiratory medicine, infectious diseases, births, cancer services, aged care services and mental health services.

Whilst we are seeing progress in elective surgery, I do not think it is fair to judge an entire public hospital system by the waiting list or, indeed, the median wait time within that. You must have a look at the public health system more broadly. I think, when you do have an honest look at that, the Canberra community can feel very proud of the work of the staff of their public health system and the very significant amount of activity that they are able to meet on a day-by-day basis.

Children and young people—care

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Community Services and is on the matter of letters, seeing that she was so interested in letters recently. Minister, on Friday, 9 September 2011, Mrs Dunne wrote to you concerning a residential care placement made by the Care and Protection Group within the Community Services Directorate for children or young people in the care of the director-general with an organisation that apparently had not been approved as a suitable entity under the Children and Young People Act. Mrs Dunne wrote you a further letter on Monday, 12 September, three days later, in which she expressed concern that the placement


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