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their say upon selected local issues. Other priority initiatives include the creation of a stand-alone health promotions foundation, amendments to the Crimes Act to prohibit female genital mutilation, changes to the Air Pollution Act to improve controls over domestic solid fuel burning appliances, and the establishment of an ACT remuneration tribunal. I trust that members and Canberrans will find the document an informative and useful guide to the new directions that this Government will be taking. I present the following paper:

Legislation Program - Spring Sitting 1995 - ministerial statement, 22 August 1995.

I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the papers.

Debate (on motion by Mr Connolly) adjourned.


Ministerial Statement

MRS CARNELL (Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care): I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on the Australian Health Ministers meeting in Alice Springs.

Leave granted.

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, during June I was able to represent the ACT at the Australian Health Ministers Conference in Alice Springs. The Australian Health Ministers Conference is an important part of the process through which Ministers with responsibility for health can meet to discuss the issues that are affecting the health and wellbeing of Australians and take steps to improve the overall framework by which health services are delivered. The meeting produced a number of important outcomes for the Territory.

Firstly, the conference discussed the very important issue of hospital quality initiatives, particularly a study concerning medical and surgical misadventure to patients in New South Wales and South Australian hospitals. The vital importance of hospital quality initiatives has been recognised through the establishment of a task force to examine the quality of hospital services and to develop a strategic response on this issue. All Ministers agreed that it is simply not acceptable that people can go into hospital and, through avoidable circumstances, require longer hospitalisation, suffer increased morbidity, or even die. I would assure this Assembly that quality issues are monitored closely within the hospitals in the ACT. Both Woden Valley and Calvary public hospitals are currently accredited by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, meaning that the hospitals meet the rigorous quality guidelines set by the national body. Accreditation by the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards is prestigious and is a sign of a quality service. I, along with all other Health Ministers, keenly await the work of the task force so that any steps identified that will make hospital treatment safer can be implemented.

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