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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (1 September) . . Page.. 2704 ..

MR MOORE: There was no cut to the Canberra Hospital. The Canberra Hospital over-ran its expenditure significantly last year- - -

Mr Stanhope: Oh, right, I see.

MR MOORE: But in the oncology area - - -

Mr Stanhope: So it is all clear now?

MR MOORE: In the oncology area your mistake is even worse because I pointed out to you just a minute ago that against actual expenditure last year there has been an increase, so there is no cut.

Mr Stanhope: Is there any increase in cancer?

MR MOORE: I have explained all that. You can read through the answer if you like. The thing that I think is most important is that the rectification plan in the Canberra Hospital has been approved by the board and, appropriately, it is done at arm's length for me as to where those cuts are made. It would be entirely inappropriate for a Minister to say, "Well, you had better cut from oncology; you had better cut from women and children". I certainly have not done that. I have asked the hospital to live within its budget, and that is a perfectly reasonable thing. Not only is it a reasonable thing; it is what this Assembly ordered me to do. Basically, you required me to do that. You were very harsh on me about - - -

Mr Stanhope: Rubbish, rubbish.

Mr Berry: Not as harsh as we wanted to be.

MR MOORE: It was a matter of grave concern which I took seriously. What I have said to the board is: "I would expect that before you look at areas of service delivery you will look at the corporate area overheads". The board has come back to me and said, yes, that is the area they are going to look at first, and I think that is entirely reasonable. I have also said that we should be very careful to ensure that patient care is not compromised. The media release from the Canberra Hospital today from Dr Pembury, who is in charge of the medical SMT, the Director of Medical Services, said that claims that the Canberra Hospital's 1999-2000 budget is compromising patient care are unfounded.

Mr Stanhope: Ask the patients.

MR MOORE: This is the medical director.

Mr Stanhope: The one you refused to meet.

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