Page 4478 - Week 14 - Wednesday, 23 November 2005
other policy drivers identified in the ACT alcohol, tobacco and other drug strategy. The industrial representative groups have reviewed and endorsed the business plan, together with reformed ADP corporate and clinical governance structures. Implementation of the strategies in the business plan has commenced and will continue throughout 2006.
The alcohol and drug program business plan is one of the fundamental tools for building a framework for good clinical practice. Good clinical practice will result in better long-term outcomes for the clients of the service and their families. The level of staff skills and knowledge will also be improved, and there will be clear accountability and participation from client groups. A culture is being fostered that is respectful, compassionate and unambiguous. The alcohol and drug program business plan makes provision to build on the existing services by strengthening work that will reduce future alcohol and drug misuse. This means working with families of people with drug and alcohol problems and the consumers themselves, increasing the skills of youth workers to identify alcohol and drug use, and reinforcing partnerships with other alcohol and drug services.
Significant changes have already been implemented within the alcohol and drug program. I would just like to outline these for the benefit of members: a significant updating of or changes in relation to medical record storage systems; work undertaken in relation to the development of a culture with increased staff and client communication and consultation; the refurbishment of the Wruwallin clinic, which was reported in the Canberra Times on 24 August this year and is a significant step forward in improving the physical environment in which services are delivered; the modification of data collection systems to ensure data is compliant with national standards; the realignment of management positions to improve government structures, strengthen human resource practices and impact on the cultural environment; and the review of clinical pathways to increase access and to improve the quality of the clients’ experiences with the services.
All of these highlight the steps the government is taking to address the issues identified in complaints and subsequent investigations. I do not think anyone in this Assembly could criticise the government for not being open and transparent in the way this matter has been conducted.
I want to add just a couple of other comments in relation to Dr Foskey’s motion. The first thing I would say is that the government will support the motion but it does so with a number of provisos. The first is in relation to Dr Foskey’s amendment. The alcohol and drug program, like every other program in every other part of the government, could easily argue for improved funding and further funding. That is a consequence of any service delivery anywhere in government. Whilst Dr Foskey is asking the Assembly to call on the government to ensure that recommended strategies are sufficiently supported and scrutinised, I am sure that Dr Foskey and I will continue to have a disagreement about what is an appropriate level of funding. In my experience, you can never spend enough money in health. Let us just take that as a given: you can never spend enough money in health. So I do not want Dr Foskey to come back to this place at some later time and say, “You said you would sufficiently fund this and you have not.” We can have the debate about what is sufficient.
But it is important to note that the government must look to ensure that all programs are funded appropriately within the budget parameters that governments face. So I just want