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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (22 April) . . Page.. 1179 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

organisations, leases granted for less than market value and leases granted over public land. The schedule I have tabled covers leases granted for the period 1 January 1999 to 31 March 1999. I have also tabled two other schedules in relation to variations approved and change of use charges for the same period. A record of all new leases and applications to vary crown leases is available for public inspection at my department's shopfront at Dame Pattie Menzies House, 16 Challis Street, Dickson.


Papers and Ministerial Statement

MR MOORE (Minister for Health and Community Care): Mr Speaker, for the information of members, I present information bulletins relating to patient activity data for Calvary Public Hospital and the Canberra Hospital for March 1999. I seek leave to make a short statement.

Leave granted.

MR MOORE: The raw results for the March report, I must say, are disappointing. They show that the main theatre for the whole year has treated 5,703 persons against a target of 6,469 persons and the day theatre has treated 1,886 persons against a target of 2,823. These results are obviously disappointing on their face and I think they require some explanation.

Firstly, with regard to the main theatre, it should be noted that we are looking at the rapid, monthly raw separation figures, not the final cost-weighted figures. These figures are prepared within three weeks of the end of each month and show the number of patients treated, but do not take account of the complexity of cases, as is the case when we look at cost weights. In fact, the latest available quarterly weighted figures, to December 1998 - the figures to March will be compiled soon - show that surgical performance to the end of December was about 6 per cent below target, reflecting at that stage the serious effects of the VMO disruption in July-August last year. As the year proceeds, we would expect that the final results would approach their targets.

Secondly, given that we are deliberately targeting complex cases in some specialties, it is quite possible that the statistics for raw separations will fall below the target for raw separations, but we will be assessing performance on the basis of weighted separations, not raw separations. Thirdly, it is relevant to mention another effect of the new VMO contracts last year which has no doubt contributed to the disappointing result in main theatre activity. Surgeons sought the creation of a system of subacute theatres for certain work. Twenty sessions per month were set aside for this type of activity. However, the utilisation of this allocation by surgeons has been only about five sessions per month. This utilisation has been outside the direct control of the hospital. The unused time has obviously led to wasted facilities. The subacute allocation of theatre time has, as of late March, been cut back to five sessions per month, with the time thus freed up returned to main theatre usage. This should boost activity over the last three months. Fourthly, the hospital has sought the purchase of additional throughput from the department in the areas of neurosurgery, orthopaedics and vascular surgery. The addition of a new staff specialist in neurology will also increase throughput in this specialty.

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