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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 01 Hansard (Tuesday, 13 December 2016) . . Page.. 63 ..


Clinical observational data have suggested that bed occupancies above 85% could adversely affect safe, effective hospital function.

Minister, has the Canberra Hospital been operating at or above 85 per cent, and if so, for how long?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her question. I will take that on notice. I am not familiar with the 2010 report, but I can tell Mrs Kikkert that the hospital, as I mentioned earlier, undergoes seasonal changes and, in particular over the winter period, it does often operate at its capacity. That would fluctuate over time throughout the course of the year depending on the season.

One of the other things I can inform the Assembly of is that although our hospital is not one of the largest in Australia or one of the busiest, our emergency department is one of the largest and one of the busiest emergency departments in Australia because it caters not only for our own city but for the region as a whole.

I can inform the Assembly that bed occupancy rates are closely monitored, and the safety, wellbeing and good health of the patients and the staff within our system, particularly at Canberra Hospital, are of the utmost importance.

MRS KIKKERT: Minister, what is the hospital management doing to ensure OHS for staff, particularly relating to fatigue, when the hospital is operating above the benchmark capacity?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mrs Kikkert for her supplementary. The safety of staff, as I mentioned in my previous answer and in answers to the previous question, is very important. It is closely monitored throughout the course of the day. I can take that question on notice about specific elements within the hospital’s work processes. What I can inform the Assembly is that across every department in Canberra Hospital there are multiple meetings on a daily basis to monitor capacity within the hospital, work flow within the hospital and the safety and wellbeing of staff and patients.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Lee—Ms Lee.

MS LEE: Thank you, Madam Speaker. You almost got me married then! Minister, on how many occasions since you became Minister for Health has the hospital been operating at or above 100 per cent?

MS FITZHARRIS: I am not aware of any, but I will take that question on notice.

Mr Barr: I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Land Development Agency

MR BARR I believe it was Mr Coe who asked me at the commencement of question time whether any conflicts of interest have been reported in relation to the purchase of three sites that were subject to the Auditor-General’s report. The advice I have is that there were no conflicts of interest.


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