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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2208 ..

Aged care is primarily the responsibility of the Commonwealth. However, Mental health services have an important part to play in the care of the aged persons with dementia, and the ACT Government has contributed by the provision of the $300,000 recurrent funding for dementia sufferers with challenging behaviours, as described in the answer to question one above.

In addition the ACT works with the Commonwealth to get the best allocation of appropriate accommodation for the aged by its participation as a member of the ACT Aged Care Advisory Planning Committee (ACAPAC). This Committee determines Commonwealth funded nursing home bed allocations.

Hospitals-spinal injury patients

(Question No 685)

Mr Smyth

asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

In relation to the waiting list for spinal injury patients:

(1) What was the average surgery waiting time for patients suffering spinal injury at (a) The Canberra Hospital and (b) Calvary Hospital at 30 April 2003;

(2) How many people were on this list;

(3) What is the (a) greatest length of time and (b) shortest length of time any one person on the waiting list at the end of April waited for surgery relating to spinal injury;

(4) How are patients with a spinal injury and who require surgery categorised for their treatment;

(5) Spinal injury surgery often needs to be undertaken quite quickly before a patients condition worsens. Have any patients suffered further injury at (a) The Canberra Hospital or (b) Calvary hospitals due to waiting longer than they should have for surgery.

Mr Corbell

: The answer to the member's question is:

1) Patients suffering from a spinal injury are admitted via the Emergency Department (ED) at The Canberra Hospital (TCH). There is no waiting time for patients suffering from a spinal injury as patients are triaged in ED as a Category 1 (treatment required immediately) or Category 2 (treatment required within 10 minutes). If surgery is required this will be performed as an emergency.

2) There is no waiting list for spinal injury patients requiring emergency surgery.

3) Refer to Question 2.

4) For emergency patients refer to the answer in question 1. Elective patients are categorised by their surgeon into one of three categories. Category 1 - urgent, surgery recommended within 30 days; category 2 - semi-urgent, surgery recommended within 90 days; category 3 - non-urgent, surgery may be performed some time in the future.

5) There is no data available to answer this question.

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