Page 55 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 7 December 2004

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committees. As the minister pointed out, she is one-seventeenth of this place. Even if you take into account that she got about 12 per cent of the vote in her electorate, that would not entitle her to representation on every committee in this place. Mr Speaker, I commend the motion.

Question put:

That Ms MacDonald’s motion be agreed to.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 8

Noes 7

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Burke

Mr Seselja

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mrs Dunne

Mr Smyth

Ms Gallagher

Mrs Porter

Dr Foskey

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Gentleman

Mr Quinlan

Mr Mulcahy

Question so resolved in the affirmative.

Sitting suspended from 12.41 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Hospital waiting lists

MR SMYTH: My question is directed to the Minister for Health. I refer to the Auditor-General’s performance audit of waiting lists, which found that there has been a general decline in performance in the less urgent categories.

The average delay in category 2 has risen over the last three-year period to June 2004 from just below the clinically indicated 90 days to well above it—that is, 167 days for Calvary and 135 days for the Canberra Hospital. In category 3, performance has fluctuated, but has generally declined over the three-year period to June 2004, with the average wait increasing from 226 days to 383 days for Canberra Hospital, and from 144 days to 243 days for Calvary.

Why has the waiting time for elective surgery in categories 2 and 3 increased so badly under this government, when you have stated that it was one of your highest priorities to reduce waiting times in these categories?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Smyth for the question. The government continues to work hard to address the issue of demand for elective surgery through our public hospitals. It is true that there has been an increase in waiting times in a number of areas. It is worth making the point that, at the same time, there has been a very significant increase in the number of people receiving their elective surgery.

That shows that at the same time as we are increasing capacity, we are also seeing increased demand. It has been difficult for the government to keep up with that demand. That said, it is worth making the point that in the most recent budget an additional $1 million was provided to improve access to elective surgery, particularly for people

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