Page 3256 - Week 11 - Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .

All bypass affects is less urgent ambulance patients. Again, I think that the opposition does not understand this. This means that less urgent patients coming in on an ambulance need to go to the other hospital, whether that be Calvary or TCH. Traditionally TCH is the one on bypass because traditionally it has the busier emergency department. It has the more complex cases; it has the paediatric patients. These are things that Calvary emergency department does not deal with to the extent that Canberra Hospital deals with all of these patients.

That has traditionally been the reason, although Calvary has been doing an excellent job in terms of trying to meet benchmarks around timeliness. There is a lot to learn about between both emergency departments—about how they run. But when a clinical decision is made that the hospital needs to go on bypass for a period of time, that is the appropriate decision. We are lucky that we have a system here where a 10-minute ambulance trip to Belconnen—usually, if TCH is the hospital that is on bypass—is the way through this.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: This is a decision made by clinicians about the most appropriate form of patient care. I know that the opposition do not want to listen to it, because it ruins what—

Mr Pratt: No; we were somewhat startled by the answer.

MS GALLAGHER: A decision around bypass is made by clinicians dealing with the patient numbers they are seeing at the time. There is nothing the government can do about it. There is no government in the country or in the world that can deal with bypass or stop bypass, because these are decisions made by health professionals at the front line. As we have seen, bypass will go up and down. I notice that the member opposite did not cite months when there has not been any bypass—for example, in November I do not think there has been any bypass to date.

Mrs Dunne: We are only 13 days into November. Let’s wait and see.

MS GALLAGHER: In July, Mrs Dunne—

Mr Seselja: It’s not finished. I’ve done the last four full months.

Mrs Dunne: There were six.

MR SPEAKER: Mrs Dunne, you are on a warning.

MS GALLAGHER: In July, there would be bypass quite early on, because that is winter and we are dealing with a lot more presentations. In fact, the reason you have been quiet on bypass is that it is almost half of what it was for last year. It is nowhere near some of the pressure we saw last year. The opposition pick up bypass figures when they feel like it, when it suits them. We have had a period of relative quietness because the bypass hours have been so low. When bypass is required at the hospital, it is implemented at the hospital for the duration of the time that it is clinically responsible to make that decision for. And that is the end of the story.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . .