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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 2 June 2021) . . Page.. 1588 ..


Mrs Jones had listened to my statement this morning she would already be aware that we are doing a number of things in relation to this.

The initial design required a 100 per cent match between the Medicare number and the other details and for someone of course to already be in the ACT health patient administration system. We have changed that to require only about an 80 per cent match, and that has helped.

The team is also working with Services Australia to proactively update Medicare details for all of the patients, other than those who are deceased, and who are currently in the ACT’s health records system so that we can proactively have the correct Medicare number for those people. We expect that that process may take another couple of weeks and we are also expanding the call line so that it will operate from tomorrow from 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week.

MRS JONES: Minister, how many people are on the call line taking calls?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take that question on notice in terms of the exact number of staff who are on today, but we are looking to expand that staffing by around 30. As I said, we will be able tomorrow to takes calls from 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week but with additional staff. The team is also continuing to work to improve the online booking system to reduce that confusion around Medicare numbers and that difficulty with Medicare numbers as we go forward.

I have to say that the digital services team did a really incredible job in standing up the booking system and standing up the MyDHR portal to be able to be used for this purpose, but it does have some limitations in terms of people having to already be in the ACT health system and of course some limitations in terms of entering Medicare numbers. The Medicare card is not exactly designed to make an easy way of entering the unique number for those people.

We will continue to improve our systems as we learn more and as we go forward, but, as I say, if anyone does need to use the phone line there is a call back system on that so that people do not need to wait an extended period.

While I am on my feet, I will answer the other question in relation to the exact numbers. As of 26 May, 76,129 people had had the first dose of any vaccine and 19,985 people in the ACT had had a second dose.

MS LAWDER: Minister, instead of having a free field to enter the Medicare number, is one of the options that the team is looking at to have a box per number for the Medicare card number to avoid any confusion?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: That is not an option that we are currently looking at but we do know that one of the challenges is that on some browsers, not on all browsers, the number is hidden as it is entered and that does make it very difficult for people to check back that they have actually entered the correct number. So there is some work going on to make sure that on all browsers it will not be the case—that the Medicare


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