Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 7 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 1907 ..
MRS CARNELL: I think, Mr Speaker, it is extremely unwise for Ms Follett to have made that comment. We believe that we should bring as many of our senior people together for decision-making as is possible. It is part of consultation; it is about bringing your people with you. The difference between us and the previous Government is that our senior executives actually meet with us. Under Ms Follett they met over there on Friday morning to determine what Cabinet would decide. The kitchen Cabinet existed but was not part of the structure at all.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I have a question to ask the Chief Minister and Minister for Health and Community Care. Minister, there have been various commitments made over a long period of years to providing an adolescent wing at the Woden Valley Hospital. Can you tell the Assembly when an adolescent ward will finally open at that hospital?
MRS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Kaine. I am very pleased that you are actually interested in the future of health in this city, as, of course, the Government is.
Mr Kaine: Yes. I am not interested in dreaming about it, Minister.
MRS CARNELL: That is true. Mr Speaker, senior staff at Woden Valley Hospital have informed me that the area that will house the adolescent ward is due to be vacated in mid-July. I am also advised that six beds will become available for the adolescent area at the end of the next month. Promises of adolescent wards have been made in this place since self-government, since 1989; and what happened? Absolutely nothing, Mr Speaker. The hospital intends to closely monitor the utilisation of these beds to determine whether there will be a need for additional beds. If there is a need for additional beds, they will certainly be made available. Nursing staff in the new area will have expertise - - -
Mr Berry: What about Dr Tharion? Whom are you going to replace him with?
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I am disappointed that Mr Berry does not believe that this is an important issue, because it is something that he promised on many, many occasions. Mr Speaker, the nursing staff in the new area will have expertise in adolescent health care and will be examining the possibility of improvements to the fit-out of the unit, to make it more user friendly for patients, if you like. I think it is really important with an adolescent area to have it not looking like the rest of the hospital, but looking like adolescents want it to look like.
Mr Berry: How does our major trauma centre go without a thoracic surgeon?
MR SPEAKER: Order!