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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 10 Hansard (13 October) . . Page.. 3062 ..

MR MOORE (continuing):

With regard to the specific letter that you are talking about, my office has contacted the author - in fact, the husband of the author of the letter was the person who was home. We said that we are looking into that area and that we are trying to find out whether there is an ACT patient who will not be using the service at that time so that dialysis can be found for that particular person. But there is a series of problems within the dialysis area which we are trying to deal with. Demand fluctuates somewhat because, for example, when a person has a successful transplant, the service becomes more available. There are issues like that which need to be taken into account.

When demand reaches a peak, then we work with other hospitals around New South Wales and the region to try to ensure that we meet those needs. We find it is necessary on rare occasions to transfer people to Sydney, and that is done with the support of the hospital. We recognise that additional resources are required for that unit. In fact, a preferential reallocation of resources to the Renal Unit has meant the ability to advertise for an additional renal position. My understanding is that that advertisement is under way at the moment.

Secondly, additional support is being provided to assist with training over a two-month period. So we do recognise that the unit is at capacity, and we are working to try to resolve those issues. It is one of two areas where we recognise that, whilst the hospital's rectification plan is going on, there is a need for more financial support in order to maintain the health care that we need for that area.

There was a case - I cannot remember whether or not it was this particular case - where an indication was made by somebody that they would not be able to come to the Canberra Hospital because they were interstate. That is simply not the case. Under our health care agreement, we have to treat patients whether they come from interstate or not, but they still can be put on a priority list. That is not one of the criteria. So we are working hard to resolve that.

The other area in which we are seeking to ensure that we can maintain the best health care that we can is oncology. The legislation passed in the Assembly yesterday will assist in the very long term in reducing the number of cancer patients that go there. With a bit of luck and effort from this Assembly, in due time we might be able to reduce spending in the budget on that area because there will be less need for it. That is what we would all like to see, I am sure.

Supercar Race

MR HIRD: My question is to the Chief Minister, Mrs Carnell. I refer to allegations made in the media yesterday by Mr Corbell that the Government has entered into arrangements for a V8 supercar race to be held in Canberra on the Queen's Birthday long weekend next year by a company that has been deregistered. Can the Chief Minister inform the parliament whether this serious allegation is true?

Mr Berry: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. This question was fully answered yesterday. The Chief Minister came in, as you may recall, and gave us a full and complete answer in relation to this issue. It has been fully answered. So I remind you, Mr Speaker, that the Chief Minister came in here and answered the question.

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