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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 1 Hansard (17 February) . . Page.. 252 ..

MR STANHOPE (continuing):

action. We will perhaps get his detailed explanation of exactly where the $10m blow-out occurred, why it occurred, and what he is doing, the detailed steps that he proposes to take to address it. We extended the same invitation in relation to the waiting lists, and some sensible explanation of how he intends to address the less than edifying industrial relation situation that exists out at the hospital. I make those points in addressing the amendments.

Because of the lack of attention by the Government to the details that the Opposition sought this morning, it seems to me to be simply impossible for this Assembly to accept the Government's amendment as a replacement for the responsible and sensible approach which the Opposition has proposed in relation to the matter. We do express grave concern at the Minister's and the Government's failings.

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care) (4.43): Mr Deputy Speaker, in speaking to these amendments I thought I would also reflect on the serious attempt I have already made to answer the questions. This morning I spent nearly half an hour on my feet, going through the very issues that are set out, one by one, in the motion from Mr Stanhope. I was able to do that partially because Mr Stanhope was prepared to give me a copy of that motion in the middle of the day yesterday.

I think I have dealt with those issues, but I will answer some of them. Perhaps, for some of the time during the debate, Mr Stanhope was not here and he did not hear me. I will clarify matters. Where does the blow-out exist? The Renfrey report and the Andersen report indicate to us that the blow-out exists right across the hospital, through all areas of the hospital. That is the issue that we are dealing with. As Mr Hargreaves and other members have said, there is a cultural problem within the hospital. A cultural problem cannot be dealt with instantly by a Minister who has been in office for 10 months, and a Minister who was first informed that there were financial problems in the hospital in November. Mr Deputy Speaker, it seems to me that these are issues that will take some time.

What are the areas? Mr Stanhope, it is right across the hospital, particularly in pharmaceuticals. Mr Stanhope, you did ask me for these so I am giving them to you.

Mr Humphries: He is not interested now, obviously.

MR MOORE: Mr Stanhope, if you are interested, I will explain where they are.

MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Moore, carry on with your speech.

MR MOORE: It is right across the hospital. There is a significant increase in pharmaceuticals, some $500,000. In terms of it being right across the hospital, there is no question that a number of reports have indicated that our staffing is significantly larger than for other hospitals of the same character and the same size. So there is a staffing issue. That goes not only to administrative staff but also to nursing staff and medical staff. It is right through the hospital, right across the areas. There are a couple of exceptions to that, and I think those exceptions are notable.

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