Page 2436 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 29 June 2005

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a duty of care as Chief Minister to provide the maximum protections to everybody in this jurisdiction, and that includes a duty of care to provide protections to the unborn. I would like to see you revisit this proposed bill and support it.

If you do not, then I will support you if you come back here with another piece of legislation that has the same objectives. There will be bipartisan support. If you cannot support this, then put your money where your mouth is; come back here and put something constructive on the table, rather than what we are seeing now—a lousy 25 per cent improvement in relation to offences in the Criminal Code. The protection of the unborn is worth far more than that.

Question put:

That this bill be agreed to in principle.

The Assembly voted—

Ayes 7

Noes 10

Mrs Burke

Mr Smyth

Mr Berry

Mr Hargreaves

Mrs Dunne

Mr Stefaniak

Mr Corbell

Ms MacDonald

Mr Mulcahy

Dr Foskey

Ms Porter

Mr Pratt

Ms Gallagher

Mr Quinlan

Mr Seselja

Mr Gentleman

Mr Stanhope

Question so resolved in the negative.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—access block

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, health strategic indicator No 1 of the budget papers shows that your government has set an appalling target, whereby only 50 per cent of patients admitted to hospital via the emergency department will receive a bed within eight hours. Today in the Canberra Times you conceded that access block was too high in our hospitals. Minister, is it acceptable for 50 per cent of patients who have been admitted via the emergency department to wait more than eight hours for a bed?

MR CORBELL: No, it is not acceptable. That is why the government is putting in place a range of measures over time to decrease the level of access block in our public hospitals. As Minister for Health, I acknowledge that this is a complex issue and one that requires a range of responses.

I am pleased to say that the government has put in place a range of measures designed to address this situation. Indeed, from 1 July I anticipate that we will very quickly have an additional 20 beds online in our public hospitals, which will be aimed specifically at improving access from the emergency department into our wards. This is the fulfilment of an election commitment by the government and one that I know is both fully funded

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