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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 11 Hansard (26 September) . . Page.. 3302 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

The bill is not perfect, as many have said today. I have circulated amendments, as have the government, Ms Tucker and the opposition. I will address the amendments as they arise.

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.24 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Calvary Hospital

MR SMYTH: Mr Speaker, my question is for Mr Stanhope as Health Minister. Minister, in the Canberra Times of 14 September 2002, Dr Marielle Ruigrok, Director of Calvary emergency department, is quoted as saying:

"I need 10 full-time equivalent [medical officers] to staff the roster appropriately so that it's covered-I've only got five and a half."

The article then continues:

Dr Ruigrok said the emergency department desperately needed more nurses but funding cuts had ruled out recruitment drives.

Calvary Hospital estimated that the workload of the emergency department will increase by 7 per cent this financial year and has slashed funding in other areas, such as elective surgery, to help make up the funding shortfall. Given that the workload of the emergency department is expected to increase by 7 per cent, why have you cut its funding?

MR STANHOPE: The government has not cut funding to Calvary Hospital-as I have explained on a number of occasions, particularly in the context of the debate on the budget and government support for health and hospitals in the ACT. In fact, the government has increased funding to Calvary Hospital on a budget-to-budget basis quite significantly.

It may be, Mr Smyth, that Calvary Hospital has made a number of adjustments to its internal allocations, and those are matters for Calvary Hospital management. But the ACT government has not cut funding to Calvary Hospital. On the contrary, we have increased funding to Calvary Hospital quite significantly, and those increasing funds are over and above the significant additional moneys that were provided to Calvary Hospital after we took office. I do not have those numbers here at the moment, but I have provided them to members of the Assembly previously.

It certainly is true that over the last year Calvary Hospital's throughput increased enormously. Calvary Hospital really did thunder along. Its output was just enormous-funded in major part by the additional moneys provided to Calvary Hospital by my government. Significantly increased funds were provided to Calvary Hospital, as a result of which its throughput increased enormously. There is no doubt about that.

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