Page 2523 - Week 08 - Thursday, 30 June 2005

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No 2; now we are No 3. We have been overtaken by the Northern Territory and WA. But when you get to important measures like the percentages, for instance—and, again, this is a dilemma for all the systems—the minister cannot answer as to why something is working or not working here. In regard to private patient admission as a percentage of public hospital patients, we were No 5 in the survey five years ago. We are now No 6 on the list. That is a question that all jurisdictions will have to answer. But I think, for us, the drop from 6.9 per cent to 5.2 per cent represents a real quandary and something that we are all going to have to answer.

In terms of private hospital admissions, number of patients, both public and private per thousand weighted population, we are now seventh. The national average is 132. We are only performing at 97 per thousand. We are well off the mark in that one. And so they go on. In public hospital admissions, the number of patients, both private and public per thousand weighted population, we were at seven. We are still at seven; the numbers have not changed a great deal. All Mr Corbell talked about was having more throughput. That was the answer. “The lists are getting longer but we have got more throughput.” Not according to this. We remain ranked seventh. The number five years ago was 187 patients per thousand; it is up to 190. It is not a significant change; it has not lifted us in the rankings. But it does put the lie to the notion that somehow we are doing more and we are doing better.

In regard to the number of public patient admissions per thousand weighted population including public patients treated in private hospitals, we went up. This is the only one where we have gone up. We were ranked seventh; we are now ranked sixth. And we have gone up to 172, whereas it was 159 previously. Well done, minister on that one. I suspect it is probably an accident rather than any direct outcome of the government’s health policy.

We have looked at the beds. The beds are an interesting question. We had in 1998-99, in fact, 2.59 beds per 1,000; we are down to 2.27 now. After the Labor Party’s reforms, we have fewer beds. As I have said, we already need—

Mr Mulcahy: There mustn’t be as many sick people.

MR SMYTH: Apparently there are more coming through the system; we are doing more, but they are not showing up here in the numbers anywhere. It is curious that, when you read this report, you see how much of what Mr Corbell has said over the last two years has been totally debunked.

In regard to elective surgery, the number of patients admitted per 1,000 weighted population, we have the corker. Mr Corbell said, “We have got more throughput.” We used to be ranked No 2 on this; we are now ranked No 3. But the numbers are interesting. Five years ago there were 35 patients admitted per 1,000. Now, under a Labor government, after three years of reform, after two years of Mr Corbell in control, it is down to 28; it has dropped by 20 per cent. Elective surgery, number of patients admitted per 1,000 weighted population, is down by 20 per cent.

When I did maths back in high school more meant the number went up; it did not mean it went down. But, according to Corbell maths, it goes down. I am sure the minister can explain why this chart is wrong. I am sure somebody is reading it wrongly or it is just

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