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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 9 Hansard (2 September) . . Page.. 2819 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

The chronic disease self-management initiative, as part of the enhanced primary care package for older Australians and those with complex chronic conditions, was announced in the 1999-2000 Federal Budget. Health Ministers recognised that this is a major service area requiring a coordinated approach to future reform. Ministers agreed to announce the development of a national framework for chronic disease prevention.

The development of Australia's first national hepatitis C strategy is an exciting activity. The strategy will pave the way for an organised national response to the next phase of Australia's approach to the management of the hepatitis C epidemic. The ACT will be an active participant in the development of this strategy, which will provide a policy framework to underpin some of the excellent work which has already been undertaken.

Measuring and reporting on the performance of the health system nationally and at a state and territory level is an integral part of the business we are involved in. The national Health Ministers benchmarking working group has prepared the third national report on health sector performance indicators.

I turn to the testing of fresh blood products. In accordance with world best practice, the testing of fresh blood products in Australia will be updated by 1 April 2000 to include nucleic acid testing for hepatitis C and HIV. This process will be funded by the States and Territories in accordance with normal funding arrangements. Additional capital and recurrent funding will be required to meet the 1 April 2000 deadline.

The national directory for radiation protection will be developed to provide an overall framework for radiation safety, together with statements able to be adopted within existing Commonwealth and territory legislative frameworks. The adoption of uniform regulatory controls will be considered in the light of a planned national competition policy review of radiation protection.

South Australia recently trialled a modified Spanish model of organ donation, the outcome being a significant increase in organ donation rates. This activity, coupled with a recent increase in the rates in the ACT, has prompted Health Ministers to regularly review the organ donation rates of all States and Territories and examine options for ensuring that the rates continue to rise in the States and Territories. A nationally accessible information system will be developed which will identify on their drivers licences persons willing to be organ donors. Ministers endorsed the use nationally of the death audit tool as a means of identifying potential organ or tissue donors. The tool has been developed mainly for use in hospitals operating intensive care units.

In closing, Mr Speaker, as chair of the Australian Health Ministers Conference, I am pleased to report that significant decisions on a range of important health reform issues were made at that meeting on 4 August. I am also pleased to report on the role that the ACT has played, and will continue to play, in this key forum. It is a role that I am keen to continue at future meetings. Mr Speaker, I present the following paper:

Outcomes from the Australian Health Ministers Conference held in Canberra on 4 August 1999 - Ministerial statement, 2 September 1999.

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