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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2007 Week 09 Hansard (Thursday, 27 September 2007) . . Page.. 2771 ..

really recognise the enormous pain and distress that some of our older people are going through while they sit on these lists waiting to get treatment for things such as hip replacements and the like. I know the minister said that if somebody had an emergency, a fall and a break, they would be attended to, obviously, but there are many stages between reaching a view that you need the operation and being an emergency case and it is those people that I am particularly concerned about.

There are major issues in ACT Health. One of the reasons why I got into this place was based on an experience that one of my family members had at the hospital. It is symptomatic of the problems in the management of ACT Health, reflected on the front page of today’s Canberra Times, where we read of a man with potentially deadly brain haemorrhage who was told nothing was wrong when he went to Canberra Hospital’s emergency department. We see other examples quoted in today’s paper of people who have sought treatment at the hospital and been sent home with painkillers for serious conditions.

A member of my family went into the hospital and was told to go home and just take a few Aspros. It turned out that they had a deep vein thrombosis requiring immediate surgery and it was only because of continuous complaining that that was attended to. That case has never been taken up as a public health complaint, and I am sure there are many other people in the same position. There are examples here today where they have actually gone ahead and lodged a complaint.

They are distressing and alarming outcomes which ought to be a cause of concern to all members of the Assembly and the government. It was one of two experiences that prompted me to decide to seek to enter the Assembly because I think that in a civilized society we are entitled to better standards of health care. Indeed, the elective surgery waiting list is one very important component of public concern in relation to the administration of health, as are issues relating to the emergency waiting department at the Canberra hospital. On that point, Mr Speaker, I will conclude my remarks. I commend this report to the Assembly and to the ACT government.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Planning and Environment—Standing Committee

Statement by chair

MR GENTLEMAN (Brindabella): Pursuant to standing order 246A, I wish to make a statement on behalf of the Standing Committee on Planning and Environment.

I deliver this statement in my capacity as chair of the Assembly’s Standing Committee on Planning and Environment. It concerns the committee’s participation in the 12th annual conference of parliamentary public works and environment committees in Darwin, Larrakia country, from 19 to 21 September 2007. Unfortunately, one of our members, Mr Seselja MLA, was unable to attend due to the recent birth of his daughter, Olivia, and congratulations to Ros and Zed. This statement, therefore, was adopted by the two MLAs who attended the conference—Ms Mary Porter MLA and me.

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