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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 6 Hansard (22 June) . . Page.. 1640 ..

Elective Surgery

(Question No. 128)

Mr Stanhope asked the Minister for Health and Community Care, upon notice, on 20 April 1999:

In relation to elective surgery strategy:

In the executive contract with the CEO Department of Health and Community Care, tabled recently in the Assembly, the performance agreement provides for the "finalisation and implementation of elective surgery strategy, including application of CUT funds to reduce long waits". Can the Minister advise me of.

(1) the targeted priority waiting lists.

(2) the commencement date for this strategy.

(3) the anticipated CUT allocation for this purpose.

(4) the benchmarks to be applied for measuring the effectiveness of the strategy.

(5) the amount of CUT funding previously allocated to reducing ACT hospital waiting lists.

(6) the anticipated date for the expenditure of all CUT funds.

Mr Moore

: The answer to the Member's question is:

(1) The Critical and Urgent Treatment (CUT) incentives funding of $16.4m was provided to the ACT by the Commonwealth to reduce patient waiting times for access to elective surgery in our public hospitals.

To date, waiting lists in orthopaedics, general surgery, neurosurgery, vascular surgery, urology, gynaecology and plastic surgery have been targeted for reductions using CUT funds. In those specialities, priority has been afforded firstly to long wait patients in category one followed by category two long waits and then those waiting in category three.

(2) Strategies in place to reduce inappropriate waiting times for elective surgery include:

Improving the physical capacity of ACT public hospitals including stage 1 of a major refurbishment program at Calvary Hospital (1998-99 Capital Works Program - $10m) and day theatre development at The Canberra Hospital (1999-2000 Capital Works Program - $850,000);

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as traditional custodians of the Canberra region. It is also an important meeting place for other Aboriginal peoples. We respect their continuing cultures and value the contribution they make to life in the ACT.