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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3126 ..


difference between the definition of “fully vaccinated” for international arrivals, which is consistent with New South Wales and the arrangements that have been agreed there, which is seven days—it appears that that definition of “fully vaccinated” then got copied to the domestic travel exemption.

I have to say that this is a team that has been working extraordinarily hard to deliver a range of changes to public health directions, often over weekends. They are human, and sometimes mistakes get made. This was an honest mistake, but anyone who was subject to this would have completed the exemption form that clearly outlined whether or not they were going to meet that requirement. I am advised that if they had looked at the website prior to 1 November the website would have also provided this information about what the definition of “fully vaccinated” was for this purpose. And as soon as we realised that this was not clear, the website was updated to ensure that that information was really front and centre.

I have apologised to people, but we have also had those conversations. And people absolutely understand. Canberrans understand the need for public health directions and the reason behind these public health directions. I think the opposition is really on a fishing trip here. But I want to pay credit to those public health officials who have been working so hard and have done such an incredible job updating so many public health directions. (Time expired.)

ACT Health—performance

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. In last week’s AMA public hospital report card for 2021, the AMA’s ACT president Professor Walter Abhayaratna said:

On almost every performance indicator in this year’s report, the ACT is at or near the bottom of the national ladder. This is incredibly frustrating for the clinicians who work in our healthcare system, doing their best, day in, day out. It should also be frustrating for those who govern our health system.

Minister, is Professor Abhayaratna correct?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Professor Abhayaratna is correct. It is very frustrating that a lot of work goes into the timely care strategy, for example, across Canberra Hospital and a range of other measures. We have been working for a couple of years with the emergency department in Canberra Hospital. We have expanded the Calvary Hospital by 50 per cent in terms of the number of treatment places, and there is still work going on in aligning a lot of the care with that expansion.

But one of the things that we have been discussing with Canberra Hospital is that there has been a lot of work done on timely care and a lot of work done on improving patient flow into the hospital, but in order to implement some of the changes to the model of care that we have identified, some additional resourcing was required. That is why we have invested an additional $23 million over the next four years in that emergency department and associated activities, including:g expansion of the current emergency medical unit, changing the footprint to provide 18 treatment spaces;


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