Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2702 ..
The Assembly voted -
AYES, 9 NOES, 8 Ms Carnell Mr Berry Mr Cornwell Mr Corbell Mr Hird Mr Hargreaves Mr Humphries Mr Quinlan Mr Kaine Mr Rugendyke Mr Moore Mr Stanhope Mr Osborne Ms Tucker Mr Smyth Mr Wood Mr StefaniakQuestion so resolved in the affirmative.
Motion, as amended, agreed to.
MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health and Community Care. Is the Minister aware of widespread community concern at the impact of the implementation of the Canberra Hospital's budget rectification plan on the haematology and oncology services at the Canberra Hospital? What assessment did the Minister make of the capacity of the oncology unit to absorb any cuts at all?
MR MOORE: I did not have to, Mr Stanhope, because I did not make any cuts. In fact, Mr Stanhope, your press release today that talks about a 20 per cent cut is simply wrong. The facts alleged in the petition of the patient's relative that you repeated are incorrect. It is just another mistake that you have made, Jon. The Government has not imposed cuts in oncology. If only you would check your facts before you put them in press releases and not rely on a citizen coming in and saying, "Well, there has been a $270,000 cut", and then just using that. It is just not true.
The Government has not imposed cuts in the oncology service. The performance of the oncology service is, in fact, increasing, with about 13 per cent more unweighted separations performed in 1998-99 than in 1997-98. So there is an improvement in the amount of work being done. Let me emphasise that they are unweighted separations. The Government does not direct the allocations the hospital makes to individual units. However, the Government has increased the overall budget for the Canberra Hospital this year, with an increased expenditure, after taking into account the transfer of allied health services, of approximately $8m, or 3 per cent. We have increased its funding by about 3 per cent.