Page 918 - Week 03 - Thursday, 10 March 2005

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I was handed over to the District Nursing Program. I will be seeing members of that program three times a week only—in effect: my treatment is virtually at an end.

You will be aware how excellent are the staff I am talking to you about. You will no doubt be pleased to hear from a member of the public who has the same view. Insofar as a big thank you to you is a big thank you to all of them, please accept this letter as an acknowledgment of the skill, care, consideration and kindness I received from all the members of the Canberra Hospital.

Mr Speaker, I think that that is a very strong endorsement. Another that I would like to bring to members’ attention, one that particularly touched me, reads:

Dear Sir,

I wish to bring to your personal attention my experience during an enforced stay at Canberra Hospital.

On a visit to Homeworld shopping centre at Tuggeranong on 7 January I had the misfortune to suffer a serious fall, a serious matter, given my age—90. I was taken to the emergency department at Canberra Hospital by ambulance where an X-ray showed that I had suffered a broken hip. I was admitted as a public patient and a half hip replacement was performed on 8 January.

It is worth noting, Mr Speaker, that that was one day after the accident. The letter continues:

I remained in hospital until 21 January. Now I have returned to my home, where I live alone.

My purpose in writing to you is to express my grateful thanks to the hospital staff. During my stay in hospital (Ward 9A) I spent time in three different rooms, served by different staff. In all cases I found them to be most attentive and efficient even though the patients in their care had differing ailments. I am sure their kindness and pleasant manner and obvious nursing skills all played a great part in my progress towards recovery.

I left hospital with the feeling that we are indeed fortunate in having a community facility where staff’s attention and kindness played a significant part in alleviating my distress.

I also compliment the hospital authorities on the modern equipment available to help patients.


Mr Speaker, I am going to continue during the adjournment debate to outline to members the many positive letters that I receive from individuals in the Canberra community who are pleased with the level of service at our public hospitals. There is no doubt that our public hospitals face many challenges. Yes, they have their problems, but at the same time they provide sterling service to our community day in, day out, at any time of the year. As I know Mr Smyth would not be interested in highlighting them, I will have great pleasure as health minister in doing so.

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