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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 5 Hansard (5 May) . . Page.. 1372 ..

Mr Berry: One game or six games?

MS CARNELL: Maybe those opposite are not interested in going to see Olympic football, but I have to say I am. I know it's a round ball, Paul. It is all right.

Canberra Hospital

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Health. He is far too comfortable. Minister, which areas or units within the Canberra Hospital have been identified as being the major areas of overspending in the current financial year?

MR MOORE: Is that the question?

Mr Osborne: That is it.

MR MOORE: I thank Mr Osborne for the question. In fact, the area is quite complex because we know there is overspending right through the hospital. Mr Osborne, we know that the cost of a nationally adjusted cost-weighted separation compares with the Canberra Hospital in such a way as the Canberra Hospital is shown to be significantly overfunded. Certainly, if we just look at the raw figures, it does appear that the medical area in the hospital is the area that is most underfunded, but it does take a look below those figures to determine that the way the hospital put its budget together for last year puts a skew on those particular figures. Really, Mr Osborne, the issue we are dealing with is a cultural financial issue that goes right across the hospital.

I will say that the redundancy package that was announced yesterday in the budget, the $6m, was provided in case the hospital needs to use it. It may well be that the hospital does not use the full $6m. We would be quite pleased if that is the case and if it is not necessary to meet the needs of the hospital. The thing that we put as priority one is patient care, to make sure that that is protected. I have reiterated that to Mr Rayment on a number of occasions, although not that I need to because he is on the same wavelength himself. We would expect that the bulk of those redundancies will come from administration across the hospital.

MR OSBORNE: I think Mr Moore has partly answered my supplementary question, but I do not know that he answered the first part of the question. He is obviously learning, Mr Speaker. Which areas of the Canberra Hospital have you identified as to where the 100 jobs are to be reduced from? Are they in the same areas that the previous overspending was within?

MR MOORE: I think I did answer that question by saying that the overspending actually occurs right across the hospital. It is not a matter of saying, "Aha, here we have surgery overspending", or, "Here we have medical overspending", or, "Children's and women's health is overspending". It would be much easier, I must say, Mr Osborne, if that was the case and we could just then identify one place and go through it. It is an issue that goes right across the hospital, in all areas of the hospital, and that is why it is that we are going through a re-engineering process and a broad rectification plan that goes right through all areas of the hospital.

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