Page 528 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005
During this time the minister then selectively released information about the actual rating achieved by the Canberra Hospital. In typical fashion, the information released presented the best possible interpretation of an appalling outcome. And we all know that Mr Corbell is good at that. At last count there are some 11 of the mandatory criteria that the government has remained silent on.
Mr Speaker, if we had full accreditation, as the minister asserts, there would be no need to remain silent on 11 of the mandatory criteria and the minister, if the report was as glowing as he tries to paint it, would have released the report. But he has not. That is why the conclusion of this motion calls on the government to table the full Australian Council of Healthcare Standards report by the close of business today.
This is an issue too important and too serious for Mr Corbell to be allowed to sweep it under the carpet. It was interesting that the Chief Minister, when he took the questions, was a little more open to the concept of actually releasing the information. But as at today we are yet to see that information and as at today people of the ACT are still in the dark as to why their hospital only got limited accreditation. And this limited accreditation comes after three years of health reforms under the Stanhope Labor government—the reforms started under their first health minister, the Chief Minister himself—but he quickly realised that he could not solve the problems because his bureaucratic and administrative answers were not the answers that the people of Canberra deserved or the hospital needed.
He flick-passed it to Mr Corbell. Although Mr Corbell has made some fine statements and some grand statements about his priorities and the things he will achieve, the system has done nothing but deteriorate under Mr Corbell’s time in office as the Minister for Health. Perhaps if he spent more attention or spent more time on health, as he does on planning, the health system might be better off.
But still we get to the point that this report was given to the government last year—probably in May. We know that in December they actually submitted their action plan. This is a plan to remediate the faults. So for all the gloss, for all the spin that Mr Corbell has put on this situation, we know two things: we did not get full accreditation and the government has been forced to submit an action plan on how they will rectify the flaws that exist in the Canberra Hospital so that they can maintain their accreditation and, hopefully, get full accreditation in the next period.
I think it is very important, when the major health facility of the territory is under a cloud, that we clear that cloud as quickly as possible so the people of the ACT can actually have some information about what their government is doing to fix the problem that their government created. This is the government that lost full accreditation of the Canberra Hospital through its health reforms and this is the government that is hiding the issues and the criteria from the people of the ACT. I think it is only with full and frank disclosure that we can monitor the government’s progress in fixing the problem that they have created and that people can regain the confidence in their public hospital system that they should have.
It is interesting to note that another hospital, Calvary Healthcare, is accredited to 2007. So, depending on when their assessment was done, you have to assume they have got