Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 14 August 2018) . . Page.. 2841 ..
elsewhere. I am not convinced that ACT taxpayers are getting value for money. We are seeing year on year that we fail to come close to the national efficient price for the provision of medical services. We are not getting any better, and that is a symptom of the fact that we are not spending our money as wisely as we can.
Make no mistake about this: the Canberra Liberals do want to see health spending being carried out as efficiently as possible. If Mr Steel wants to characterise that as cutting health expenditure, knock yourself out. But when we fail, year after year, to come close to the national efficient price then we have a problem. It is a problem of this minister’s making and her predecessors’ making, and it is time that, as a community, we looked at these issues.
MR MILLIGAN (Yerrabi) (12.27): Thank you for the opportunity to speak on this part of the appropriation bill on health. I will be addressing it in relation to the health facilities at the Alexander Maconochie Centre, which has many issues, and not just around the areas you would think in terms of justice and rehabilitation but health outcomes for inmates. Since it first started taking inmates in 2009 the facility has been plagued with high drug use, contraband, a huge percentage of inmates on methadone—much higher than in other states—and, of course, bashings and, sadly, deaths.
Too often it seems like the minister is at peace with the fact that there are illicit drugs flowing through our prison. We can never condone this and must always maintain a zero tolerance policy towards illegal drug use in our prison. We are pleased to see justice health move to a more time-efficient methadone dosing system—idose. It has freed up time for nurses to do other important work. However, we are yet to see any formal courses or programs for inmates on methadone who may wish to get off it. Instead, drug use seems to be an outcome of business as usual.
Between 30 and 40 per cent of the prison population is on an opioid treatment replacement. More work needs to be done to help the inmates who want to help themselves. But perhaps, sadly, this is the attitude that only members on this side of the chamber share. Instead, this government seems to take the path of least resistance, leaving inmates dosed up on drugs rather than doing the hard yards to reduce and remove them from our prison system.
This brings me to the specific elements of Indigenous health. Whilst I am happy to see that Winnunga has been awarded the contract to enter the prison and provide culturally appropriate care, the model of care and services to be offered is still to be determined.
This seems all too familiar as we have heard the same rhetoric and delays with establishing the Ngunnawal bush healing farm. As we all know, the missing opportunity on that site continues to unfold as we wait on an even basic model of care for this glorified day camp with no clinical treatment. I fear that the same fate awaits the AMC. Winnunga wants to get in there and start helping inmates. They are hopeful of treating non-Indigenous inmates if they have capacity and the inmates are willing.