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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 9 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 2659 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

With no training program for ophthalmology at the Canberra Hospital and no specific benefit for corneal retrieval, the hospital has been unable to maintain a reliable roster of participating doctors for the retrieval of corneas. This amendment to the Transplantation and Anatomy Act 1978 will allow enucleation as a stand-alone procedure to be carried out for the first time in the ACT. When a similar amendment to the New South Wales Human Tissue Act was passed, it had the immediate effect of significantly increasing the rate of corneal retrieval and a consequent reduction in the waiting list for corneal transplantation.

The amendment means that any trained and properly accredited health professional on staff at ACT hospitals will be able to seek the consent of the deceased person's relatives and retrieve corneas for the Lions New South Wales Eye Bank. That health professional will be trained by the Lions New South Wales-ACT Save Sight Foundation and, after training, be accredited by the Chief Health Officer of the ACT. The involvement of the Lions New South Wales-ACT Save Sight Foundation is to be commended in the retrieval program. The Lions Club arranges to have the corneas picked up from the hospital and sent to the New South Wales Eye Bank and will also make enucleation equipment available to the hospitals if necessary. I wish to thank the Lions Club for their involvement and their support in this very important initiative.

I expect the change to the Act will have an immediate and positive impact on the current New South Wales Eye Bank waiting list for corneal transplants. With around 325 patients on the waiting list, many of these patients will be from the Canberra region. In the 18 months to November 1997, 24 corneal transplants were performed for patients from the Canberra region. The initiative to increase corneal retrieval follows the provision of $70,000 to the Canberra Hospital in the 1998-99 purchasing contract. This money was provided to improve rates of organ donation through better coordination and support for the families of patients who donate their organs for transplantation. Mr Deputy Speaker, I commend the Transplantation and Anatomy (Amendment) Bill 1998 to the Assembly.

Debate (on motion by Mr Stanhope) adjourned.

Motion for Disallowance

MR KAINE (11.00): Mr Deputy Speaker, I move:


(1) Instrument No. 189 of 1998 dated 4 August 1998, relating to salary allocations to Members to employ staff in the 1998-99 financial year and made under the Legislative Assembly (Members' Staff) Act 1989, be disallowed; and

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