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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 14 Hansard (11 December) . . Page.. 4282 ..

MS DUNDAS (continuing):

I noted the government's "$200 million man"media release, to which Mr Stanhope has made reference today in the chamber, claiming that the targets in Mr Smyth's motion would require a 50 per cent increase in health expenditure and an extra $7 million would be needed to improve the waiting list targets, as Mr Stanhope has talked about at length this afternoon. While I am not privy to the details of the costings that he was referring to, I am doubtful that the $200 million he has put forward as the amount is actually what it would take to implement the suggestions put forward by Mr Smyth. What would be needed would be a refocusing of existing expenditure, a reprioritisation of what it is that we want to do in the ACT in regard to health care.

If the government could come up with a better list of measurable targets for health outcomes, I would gladly support it. I was informed this morning that the government is planning to develop such a list of targets and I look forward to seeing this document. I hope that we will have it very soon. But I do find it almost ludicrous that we have a plan such as the health action plan for 2002 that does not include timelines, that does not include performance indicators, and that does not include clear goals.

Mr Stanhope stood here today and laughed at Mr Smyth's proposal. I put the question back to him: where are the details of the government's proposal? The fact that we are having this debate and that there are amendments that will be discussed later calling on the government to develop an implementation strategy for the health action plan for 2002 clearly shows that the leadership and action needed from this government to support health care in the ACT are lacking.

MS TUCKER (5.11): I move the amendment circulated in my name, which reads:

Omit all words after "calls on the Minister for Health", substitute "to develop by the end of the last sitting week in June 2003, an implementation strategy with timelines and targets".

I went to the launch of the health action plan Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 and listened to the presentations by Mr Stanhope and by community members. I have to say that the frustrations that have been expressed here today were certainly echoed by the community representatives who responded at the launch. I do understand that Mr Smyth's intention here is to make the point, pretty clearly, that there should be more detail and more accountability if we are to be confident that this government is going to deliver health services that meet needs as much as is possible, and that it presents a plan for which we can hold it to account.

However, I will not be supporting Mr Smyth's list of priorities for a number of reasons. Mainly, the issue is that you do have to consult pretty carefully with service providers. I also feel that it is not a well thought out process, but I think Mr Smyth has made a good point. What I have done is amend the motion to call on the government to develop, by the end of the last sitting week in June-oh, I see that Mr Smyth has an amendment to my amendment. My amendment says June, but his amendment to my amendment says March. You should change the March to June, Mr Smyth.

Mr Smyth: I will change the March to June.

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