Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 7 Hansard (22 September) . . Page.. 2020 ..
MR QUINLAN (continuing):
and I am sure that other members of the PAC would like to think, that this particular exercise is not just part of a normal ritualistic process; that we have learnt that there is a certain amount of due process that must be followed. I cannot cite a better example than still negotiating contracts even though the facilities have been handed over. We will take this report and have a good look at it, but in the meantime we do not oppose it being noted.
Question resolved in the affirmative.
MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (3.49): Mr Speaker, I ask for leave of the Assembly to make a ministerial statement on the Australian Health Ministers Conference, the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Council, and the Joint Meeting of the Australian Health Ministers Conference and the Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs.
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, I rise today to give members feedback on three ministerial conferences that I attended in July. Members will recall that I recently wrote to them advising that I was to attend the Australian Health Ministers Conference on 30 July 1998 in Sydney and the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Council meeting on the same day. On 8 July 1998 I also attended the joint meeting of the Australian Health Ministers Conference and the Ministerial Council for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, which is also known as MCATSIA. I have now received the final decisions from those meetings and I want to take this opportunity to advise you of the outcomes.
Mr Speaker, the meeting of Health Ministers on 30 July 1998 had a major focus on finding ways to enhance the quality and safety of treatment provided in our health care services. Ministers agreed to release "Commitment to Quality Enhancement", the interim report of the National Expert Advisory Group on Safety and Quality in Australian Health Care. This report provides us with useful directions to pursue in improving our hospital system, and is being included in the current examination under way into ways to minimise adverse incidents and improve quality in the ACT's hospitals. I might say as an aside to members that it has been my approach so far when we are dealing with documents in ministerial councils to urge Ministers to make those documents available to the public. This is one of such documents.
Ministers agreed to ensure that performance standards outlining expected safety and quality enhancement achievements are specified with boards of management and senior managers of health care organisations. We agreed that there is a need for commitment at the national level to health care safety and quality improvement, and this will be done in partnership with clinicians.