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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 November 2021) . . Page.. 3140 ..

MS LAWDER: A supplementary question.


MS LAWDER: Minister, how are you making sure that the 2022 results will be different compared to the past 20 years of underperformance in our public hospital system by your Labor-Greens government?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: As Ms Lawder may be aware, we did commit at the last election to 60,000 elective surgeries over the four years of this term of parliament, which is a significant increase over the previous four years. We are on track—we have made investments in this budget—to start the process of delivering 60,000 elective surgeries. The investment that we have made in this budget of almost $7 million over four years will increase elective surgery capacity by optimising elective surgery delivery between Canberra Health Services, Calvary Public Hospital and our private providers to address theatre capacity constraints at Canberra Hospital.

I have already discussed, Madam Speaker, the additional investment in emergency surgery, which sits alongside this as a complementary measure. We are addressing the emergency surgery demand as well to ensure that we are addressing some of the challenges that then lead to delay in elective surgery. This initiative will allow the government to deliver 14,800 elective surgeries in 2021-22, continue the enhanced recovery surgery program to facilitate improved recovery and develop feasibility and design options for the northside elective surgery centre at the University of Canberra to expand health infrastructure in Canberra’s north.

MADAM SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: From the same document, Minister, the data for 2015-16 is missing. You may not have that information here, but can you provide information as to why that data is missing in that report?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Madam Speaker, I seek a point of clarification. Is Mr Hanson referring to the AMA report and missing data in the AMA report?

Mr Hanson: That is correct; the elective surgery element of it. I am just trying to get to the bottom of whether they were not provided with that data or why that data is missing, if you are aware. Because their report is published every year, but that year does not contain the data, and I am wondering whether you know.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: My understanding of the way that the AMA put together their report is that it is based on already existing publicly available information. Members may recall—obviously I was not in this place throughout that period—that there were some issues around the quality of data that was able to be reported to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at around that time. That may have contributed to this information then subsequently not being available to the AMA. I will take the detail of the question on notice, but I am pretty sure that the AMA put their report together on the basis of existing publicly available information.

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