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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 May 2018) . . Page.. 1534 ..


Governance has been spoken about, and that plays into the issues that have been raised in the mental health space. There is now substantial work underway to ensure that in the 90 days available to it ACT Health addresses those concerns that have been raised and the problems that have been identified in the accreditation process and addresses them sustainably so that change continues to roll out across our health system over an extended period of time and really reinforces that improved practice.

Certainly, in the mental health space I know we have extremely dedicated staff. They turn up to work every day committed to doing the best possible job they can. I know this happens right across Health, but I have a particular focus in that area. In the mental health space we are a leading jurisdiction on account of a number of indicators which are very important. That does not mean we should stand still and it does not mean there are not areas we need to continue to improve. I will give a statement shortly that goes to some of those issues and the work that is being done in ACT Health. Overall I think Health is working extremely hard, but there are areas we need to focus on.

I have already spoken about governance. We need to keep updating our infrastructure. The new University of Canberra hospital will open quite shortly and that will provide a fantastic new facility on the north side of Canberra that really adds to the spectrum of services available in ACT Health and brings new skills, new planning and new opportunities to our health system in the ACT.

I think today’s motion is one you would expect from Mrs Dunne. I do not think it is a fair or accurate account of the situation at ACT Health, and I do not think it reflects on the work I know the minister is putting in to address some of the areas that are challenging.

Health is a challenging portfolio. It is made up of human beings, and in human systems there are times when things need to be lifted up, to be fixed up, to be reinvigorated or to be reformed. In those areas I know the minister has a focus, and in the capacity that I have as the Minister for Mental Health I will be working with her on some of those issues. I look forward to seeing through the budget new resources provided for ACT Health and, through a series of other projects that are currently being developed and worked on, a continuous improvement in the services provided by ACT Health.

MS LAWDER (Brindabella) (11.07): Recently we have seen headlines like “My baby nearly died: mothers’ ‘traumatic’ Canberra Hospital births”. We have read:

When they turned around and told Brooke they couldn’t break her waters because they didn’t have staff they just said, if you’ve got an issue, complain to the minister.

Well, what we have seen recently, minister, is quite a number of complaints. Patients and staff, despite the bullying culture and personal risk, have complained, and the complaints are all there for us to see. Minister Fitzharris is letting the people of Canberra down. On her watch we have a litany of disasters and neglect in our health


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