Page 532 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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reports—end of June 2005—still achievable. Rollout to other staff will progress thereafter.

ACT Health is committed to a high-quality health service, and the TCH accreditation report will inform service improvement across the health portfolio. As an example of this, the ACT health risk management framework is a whole-of-service approach to risk identification and management. I understand a budget bid has gone to ACT Treasury for funding to enhance clinical audit within ACT Health, based on the TCH model.

Another example relates to workforce issues. ACT Health is addressing these issues, guided by Working together, shaping our future with our people, a strategic plan for building a sustainable workforce. I am pleased to see that the changes in progress will go a long way to meeting many of the recommendations in the report; so the hospital will score even better in the next survey. The improvements that TCH is making as a result of this accreditation exercise can only benefit both staff and the community in the provision of even better services. They will add to and supplement initiatives already introduced by this government to make this hospital one of the country’s major trauma hospitals and centres of excellence.

One of the most important of these initiatives was the establishment of the ANU Medical School, which enrolled its first intake of students in February last year. Indeed, work on the medical school’s new building at the TCH campus began this month. The ACT government has committed $14 million to funding new facilities at TCH and to enhance facilities at Calvary Hospital to ensure students and staff have access to high-class facilities.

We expect that the new medical school will eventually augment the current ACT medical workforce, as students attracted to the Canberra region elect to remain in the ACT to undertake additional medical training and studies. Mr Speaker, I seek a very short extension of time. (Extension of time not granted.)

DR FOSKEY (Molonglo) (5.57): I am sorry to cut you off, Ms MacDonald; it’s just that there is going to be a guillotine at 6 o’clock.

It is important that the Canberra community has confidence in the Canberra Hospital’s compliance with accreditation outcomes. Under EQuIP it would appear that there are three levels of recognition open under the ACHS. It would seem that a two-year accreditation, such as the one awarded to the Canberra Hospital rather than the unqualified four-year accreditation, indicates that the process has identified areas that need improvement and that corrective action in those areas is required within 12 months.

I do not think that we need to get anxious because the Canberra Hospital was only awarded two years accreditation at this stage, so soon after the introduction of the revised EQuIP standards, with mandatory criteria. Rather, we need to know what the precise areas for improvement are. I simply call on the government to release the report or at least an edited version of it so that health consumers and the general community can be aware of the performance of our hospital and the most urgent areas for quality improvement.

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