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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 4 Hansard (27 March) . . Page.. 940 ..

MR MOORE: Yes, I will take it on notice, Mr Rugendyke.

MR RUGENDYKE: I have a supplementary question, Mr Speaker, and I do not think that the minister will have to take it on notice as the answer will be about one. Minister, how many of the present Health and Community Care staff have been refused permission to partake of outside employment? More importantly, what reason has been given?

MR MOORE: I will take that on notice as well. I am surprised that Mr Rugendyke thinks that I would know the answer to the second part of his question. I am not aware of anybody being refused permission. My gut reaction would be that somebody who is employed by Health and Community Care normally would be doing the work in health and community care. Sometimes, though, there are good arguments as to why somebody could work for the World Health Organisation , for example, or adopt an approach like that. I will take the supplementary question on notice and come back to Mr Rugendyke.

Mr Humphries: I ask that further questions be placed on the notice paper, Mr Speaker.

Elective surgery

MR MOORE: I have answers to quite a number of questions that I have taken on notice over the last few weeks. The first one is from 5 December. I apologise that it has taken me so long to come back to Mr Wood. He asked about the recategorisation audit of category 2 elective surgery patients at Canberra Hospital. He asked whether it was complete and whether it was done once or twice a year.

A clinical audit of category 2 and 3 patients will be undertaken at the Canberra Hospital. The department is currently in negotiation with the hospital regarding performance indicators and expected outcomes from the audit. This type of audit will involve a clinical manager meeting with the doctors who have categorised the patients to ensure a similar standard has been used for category assignment.

The hospital also undertakes clerical audits of their waiting list databases. Clerical audits are undertaken to ensure that patient details within the databases are correct and also to assess whether people are still waiting for surgery, have had their surgery completed in the private sector or no longer require surgery. In finding any discrepancies between information held in the databases and information gathered from people in the waiting lists, the database will be updated to ensure that they reflect the current situation of the waiting list patients.

Clerical audits are undertaken approximately once a year, because they involve contacting over 3,000 patients by either phone or mail-out survey. The need to validate and update patient information and patients' need to be on the waiting list must be balanced with the invasiveness of the process. While waiting lists are being revised and changed, through either a clinical or a clerical audit, surgeons continue to undertake work on the people who are waiting.

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