Page 1622 - Week 05 - Thursday, 7 April 2005

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(4) Resource levels at ACT Police stations are subject of ongoing review. The Tuggeranong station is operating efficiently within current resource levels.

Health—breast screening
(Question No 252)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 9 March 2005:

(1) Further to the ACT Health December 2004-05 quarterly performance report, Output 1.3, Community Health Services, why have breast screening services continued to fall below pro-rata;

(2) How many (a) new radiologists will be recruited into the ACT in 2005 to conduct screenings and (b) contract renegotiations have occurred with ACT radiologists;

(3) How much will it cost to send screenings to Sydney radiologists and what impact will this have on turnaround time of the assessments.

Mr Corbell: The answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) As the ACT Health Quarterly Report states, targets were not met in the first part of the financial year due to a shortage of radiologists and that has been addressed through an active recruiting campaign. There is a world wide shortage of radiologists.

Contract renegotiations with radiologists are now complete, and the Department has successfully negotiated with a group of radiologists in Sydney to read between 250 and 300 cases per week. As a result, more screening will take place in the second half of the financial year.

It is of interest to note that the most recent Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Report released in February 2005 shows that the ACT participation rate for women in the 50-69 year old target group was above the national average in 2001-2 at 59.2%.

(2) ACT Health has now successfully negotiated new contracts with six ACT Radiologists and a group of three Sydney based radiologists. Six other ACT radiologists were approached in 2004 to do screen reading and declined.

(3) The extra costs associated with sending films to Sydney radiologists to be read are approximately $2.70 per client. The impact on the wait time for assessment by sending films to Sydney is approximately three calendar days. If films were not sent to Sydney, BreastScreen ACT would be unable to meet its targets and the wait time to assessment would increase dramatically.

Education—indigenous scholarships
(Question No 254)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Education and Training, upon notice, on 9 March 2005:

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