Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4272 ..

This is a plan of lofty ideals. A 5 or 10 per cent improvement in the short term will indicate to this Assembly that the government is on the right track. Where such goals are not being achieved or are unlikely to be achieved, the government should be asking why and reconsidering the approach it has taken.

We have not provided measures against all of the goals. We have chosen a wide range so that you are started, so that you can come back to this Assembly with a complete action plan to achieve better health outcomes for the community. This motion shows you how to do so. It gives you room to change specific goals and it provides you with the opportunity to deliver accountability, honesty and openness.

It gives you the ability to deliver better health outcomes. That is what this opposition is about-working for the good of the community, not partisan politics. This motion is a critical but constructive approach to an inadequate document. It provides you with the opportunity that we, in opposition, hope you will take up. We hope that you will take it up for the sake of the community.

Mr Deputy Speaker, one could argue that the health plan does provide for monitoring and reporting. It will be the job of the new ACT Health Council. Let me quote:

The ACT Health Council will be charged with monitoring and reporting on progress in implementing the strategies and actions set out in the Health Action Plan.

The Council will also be asked to refine the draft set of key performance indicators in the Plan and to monitor progress.

The broad representation on the Council, with membership and expertise drawn from the portfolio, clinicians and the community, will help ensure that the many actions described in the Plan are actively pursued.

The Council will agree on appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms with the Government and the portfolio.

But it is clearly a cop-out in terms of achieving outcomes and will delay even further any chance to get on with the job. Is it really honest to say that the council will help ensure that the many actions described in the plan are actively pursued? It has already taken over a year to get to this stage.

The minister has now advertised for expressions of interest in the council. What are the chances that it will be appointed before Christmas? When is the likelihood of the first meeting? How will such a council quickly come up with a full range of measurable goals? How long will it take for the new council to arrange the meetings where it can get an agreement on appropriate monitoring and reporting mechanisms with the government and the portfolio?

I am not criticising the establishment of the council, but to pass this task to it without having set out such targets in this plan seems to be a way of avoiding accountability. This process is designed to effect yet another long delay in delivering anything concrete. It does not allow an honest and open appraisal of any improvement to health outcomes. Should we have expected more? Of course we should.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .