Page 531 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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(4) Recurrent government expenditure on health per person has increased by 15 per cent since 2000-2001 to $2,270. Government expenditure on health per person reached its lowest point in 2000-2001 when, I believe, the Liberals were in government.

(5) In relation to our hospitals, the report found that the emergency departments of the ACT’s hospitals are the most responsive in Australia. In 2002-2003, 74 per cent of all ACT emergency department patients were seen within triage category timeframes, significantly better than the national average of 65.9 per cent.

Mr Speaker, these are facts, not political hype; they are facts. The Leader of the Opposition has made numerous statements in the media and in this place that the Canberra Hospital has failed to get full accreditation. That is not true. ACHS says that during 2003-2004 organisations were required to achieve some achievement for all mandatory criteria. The Canberra Hospital was surveyed in May 2004. Of the 19 mandatory criteria, the hospital achieved two extensive achievements, 11 moderate achievements and six some achievements. The last six criteria were:

an organisation-wide risk management policy ensures that safety is considered in all activities;

information is readily available to consumers;

consumer records are used to improve performance;

there is a system that identifies and manages health and safety risks to employees, consumers and visitors;

management of manual handling;

management of hazardous substances.

Clearly, the Canberra Hospital does not fail to get full accreditation. In response to the ACHS report, the TCH management introduced a broad, quality-action plan to address all of the criteria that required improvement. This plan was forwarded to ACHS in December 2004. Work is well under way on implementing the action plan, and the achievements are already apparent. Actions to date include:

(1) Governance arrangements are being strengthened within TCH and within the new clinical streams. Preparatory work for the new governance structure has commenced.

(2) A medical staff council has been constituted and a chairperson appointed. A staff member has been tasked with the implementation and support of the new arrangements.

(3) The new executive director of nursing and midwifery has taken up her position within TCH and is progressing nursing-related initiatives, such as recruitment and retention and nurse practitioners at TCH.

(4) Clinical and administrative policies are being reviewed to reduce duplication and ensure that those requiring revision are updated appropriately.

(5) Workshops have been conducted to plan for the implementation of performance agreements within TCH. A draft framework will be available shortly. This initiative is on track, with the original timeframe for implementation with all executives and their direct

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