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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 3 Hansard (24 March) . . Page.. 753 ..

MR WOOD: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker. I thank Mr Moore for his explanation and his assurance of a continued look at that issue. We will watch with interest the figures over the next month and hope they go up.

Mr Hird: A good supplementary.

MR WOOD: You are no help. Mr Moore, my question is this: Arising from that work yesterday, when you said that bed numbers at Canberra Hospital have fallen from 542 in January to 524 in March, do those figures indicate that the Government is intent on closing even more beds in the public hospital? Are we going, from this point, up or down or what?

MR MOORE: I think you are getting confused between the figures that I gave and the figures that Mr Stanhope gave. My information, as of 23 March, is that in the month of February 1999, the available bed use at the Canberra Hospital was 524; and at Calvary Public Hospital, 162. Mr Wood, I expect we will see a reduction in bed numbers and I expect we will see, much more importantly, an increase in throughput. That is what I was saying yesterday. The most important thing for us to assess is whether we are dealing with more patients, and are we still dealing with the complexities of particular patients.

Only last night I was briefed on possible future scenarios in public hospitals and public hospital beds. Consultants there have suggested that we have significantly too many public beds and perhaps private beds in the Canberra area. If there are too many private beds, market forces can sort that out. In terms of public beds, this may be one of the factors accounting for the extra costs of the Canberra Hospital. It is important for us to continue to work and ensure that we can improve our services and improve our throughput, as we have been doing.

Australian Institute of Sport

MR QUINLAN: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister, I think. Can the Chief Minister tell us if there have been any discussions with Federal counterparts in relation to Sydney Olympic facilities beyond 2000 and a potential impact on the Australian Institute of Sport?

MS CARNELL: Not that I know about.

MR QUINLAN: I have a supplementary question. Is the Chief Minister aware of a top level review - or white paper - being conducted by the Federal Sports Minister, Ms Kelly, which is looking at, amongst things, relocation of some of the training that is currently conducted at the AIS? Does the Chief Minister know whether or not this is part of Federal Liberal Party policy taken to the last election, given that Ms Kelly's office announced on 28 February last that the Government would implement the review? Is there anything we can do in relation to maintaining the AIS as the pre-eminent centre of sports development excellence?

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