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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 12 Hansard (19 November) . . Page.. 4327 ..

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

Supplementary answer to question without notice

Canberra Hospital-angiogram waiting list

MR CORBELL: Mr Speaker, in question time yesterday, Mrs Cross asked me a question regarding waiting times for angiograms done at the imaging section of the Canberra Hospital over the last six months. She also asked me how patients are placed in the surgery waiting lists either before or after these angiograms have been undertaken.

The answer to the member's question is that coronary angiograms are conducted in the cardiac catheterisation suite by cardiologists. Cardiac catheterisations are conducted within clinically appropriate treatment times. Non-coronary angiograms are performed in the medical imaging department for vascular procedures, renal procedures and neurosurgical referrals. Renal and neurosurgical procedures are usually clinically urgent cases and these patients are treated within a short timeframe.

The waiting time is six months for booked vascular procedures because of the physical and human resources required. Clinically urgent patients are given priority and may be allocated a procedure time ahead of booked patients. Over the last six months, the medical imaging department has performed 1,510 angiograms. Patients are placed on the surgical waiting list if their angiograms reveal that they require surgery.

In relation to delays in performing non-cardiac angiograms, there are only two radiologists, one part-time and one full-time, at TCH performing these procedures. Highly skilled clinicians perform angiograms and it is not a procedure performed by all radiologists. Delays have resulted from increased numbers of urgent patients admitted to the hospital and an increased number of patients placed on the waiting list through the middle of this year. There is a worldwide shortage of specialists with the skills necessary to perform these procedures.

To address the issue, the following steps are being taken: 30 patients are having this procedure performed at the National Capital Private Hospital between now and the end of this year to reduce the waiting times. Vascular surgeons are triaging patients even more closely so that those who can be treated elsewhere are being treated in the private sector.

Where clinically appropriate, patients are having the less invasive CT angiograms as an assessment procedure. A part-time interventional radiologist is coming from Sydney for two days a fortnight to reduce the waiting list and more patients are being processed through the system with increased efficiencies. In October, the number of procedures performed increased by 19 per cent over the same time last year.

Crimes Amendment Bill 2003

Debate resumed.

MR WOOD (Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services, Minister for Urban Services, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for Arts and

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