Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 30 June 2005) . . Page.. 2528 ..
beforehand is very painful and it really does make a big impact on your life. You suddenly stop taking exercise and then you have a whole lot of adverse health outcomes because you are not exercising, especially when it comes to people who are elderly.
I take as an example my father, who put off for years having a hip replacement because he did not want to have one, but then his hip really started to hurt. When it really starts to hurt, you stop walking, you stop playing golf, you stop taking exercise and other areas of your health suffer. Your heart is not as good and all of those sorts of things because your hip hurts so much that you cannot walk. Mr Corbell is saying that it is not clinically necessary. It is not clinically necessary, but the adverse outcomes that arise as a result of Mr Corbell’s insensitivity, lack of care and profligacy are quite great.
If we are not spending money on somebody’s hip replacement, it will probably mean that they will have a number of admissions for other health-related matters. This is what is happening because we are not actually on top of it and this minister is not on top of the health budget. We have now seen that the solution is not to throw more money at it; the solution is to have some people who serve people, who provide medical services, rather than the people in the bureaucracy who think about providing medical services.
We have to have more people at the front line, rather than having the mess that goes on in the hospital whereby people have to redo the pays over and over again because they get it wrong. How much money is being spent on overtime for the people in the department of the health who keep redoing pays and who have to adjust things? I hear about it; people tell me, “I am working overtime this week because all the pays we did last week were wrong.” They are probably about to be wrong again.
Mr Speaker, the list of Mr Corbell’s failings as health minister is legion. The excuses that he has stood in this place and given are legion. Everything that he has said to try to put a good face on what is going on in the health system has been entirely debunked by the statistics that Mr Smyth talked about today and brought to our attention. The minister has failed comprehensively. We only need to look at one figure. The ACT spends $745 per head on health and Victoria, which has the best outcomes in the country, is spending $518.
MRS BURKE (Molonglo) (12.07): Mr Speaker, I would like, at this interlude, to congratulate the government. I want to thank them very much for the funding provision for a dental health program at the Narrabundah health centre, Winnunga Nimmityjah. I recognise that and I was delighted to be able to visit the facility recently and see how money has been expended and the new person has been set up. That has been very positive.
I would like to move now to the Yes, Minister model of building a health centre but not staffing it so that we do not have to service people. People probably will be aware of that. I note that the minister talked about Winnunga Nimmityjah, but let’s talk about it some more. Winnunga has waited and waited for more outreach support workers, and I believe it is still waiting. The number of people that they are seeing has increased to about 6,000 a year. I think that Julie Tongs and her team down there, and indeed the board, deserve huge encouragement and congratulations for bringing the service forward in the way that they have done.