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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 12 Hansard (Wednesday, 26 October 2011) . . Page.. 4974 ..


importance of providing women access to the lymphoedema clinic and we would like to thank Ms Bresnan for proposing this amendment today. I am pleased to report to members, on behalf of the Minister for Health, that a review of the lymphoedema clinic is already underway. So the motion wording is probably a little out of date; however, we agree with its thrust and we will support it.

The territory is pleased to provide a range of services through the lymphoedema clinic at Calvary hospital for women who require this service following treatment for breast cancer. The success and quality of this clinic have led to increased popularity of this service and we are happy to recognise this popularity and outline work currently underway to review its capacity. The territory does not provide specific funding to Calvary for specific services. Calvary receives a funding envelope, and it uses this funding to provide public hospital services for the ACT. The territory also provides enhancements to Calvary’s funding above their base funding envelope. For example, in the last 12 months the territory has provided Calvary with over $5 million in additional funding.

Calvary Health Care has initiated a territory-wide review of the lymphoedema clinic; this review includes review of current demand and projected demand for the service. The review is expected to be finalised in December this year. This review has occurred due to feedback that there have been delays in accessing the specialist trained lymphoedema staff. Consideration of additional capacity for the clinic will be considered based on the outcomes of the review, and the government is looking forward to working with Calvary once the review has been finalised. Women who require access to the service would currently wait approximately three months to access this service if they have a chronic need, with a shorter period of time for women with acute needs. They would then be seen regularly by the specialist trained lymphoedema staff. A primary objective of the review will be measures to reduce waiting times.

Further work is also underway to establish networks for the lymphoedema clinic. This includes networks with the Canberra Hospital, private providers and community organisations to further enhance the patient journey for women accessing this service.

The government will be pleased to share the findings of the review and report to the Assembly at a later date.

I commend Dr Bourke for bringing this motion to the Assembly this morning. This is a matter that touches an enormous range of people across our community and I am pleased that the government will lend its support today.

DR BOURKE (Ginninderra) (10.39): I thank Mr Hanson, Ms Bresnan and Mr Corbell for their support of this motion. I congratulate the government on its investment in new technology—new technology driving early diagnosis and earlier and better outcomes for Canberra women.

Much of our debate this morning has centred on the statistics of this terrible disease. I know that this does not detract from our understanding of the physical, emotional and mental trauma caused by breast cancer.


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