Page 3449 - Week 11 - Thursday, 15 November 2007

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I am fully briefed on this matter. I am confident that ACT Health has taken the appropriate action in terms of seeking to resolve this matter in the best way possible. I remain satisfied at the work that has been done by ACT Health to get an OMFS service fully operational at the Canberra Hospital. But it is complex. I am not in the position that the opposition spokesperson on health is in, in that I have to look at this across the board. I cannot take one party’s views as the only party’s views to listen to; I have to listen to all of them. This is what I have been trying to do and what Health has been trying to do.

I am looking forward to having a fully operational integrated service at the Canberra Hospital in the near future with the support of all the doctors involved, if that can be reached. I am not certain it can be. But if it can, I look forward to the resolution of this matter, which has been ongoing for some 10 years on and off.

MR STEFANIAK: Mr Speaker, I have a supplementary question. Minister, why did ACT Health advise the ACCC that this matter would be resolved by September this year, yet in November there apparently is still no outcome to improve procedures for OMFS?

MS GALLAGHER: I think it was the desire of everybody that it be resolved as soon as possible. At the time of discussions with the ACCC, it was intended that this be resolved by September. That has not been the case. As members—and certainly the shadow spokesperson on health—would be aware, the issues involved are complex and not everybody is happy with how they are proceeding at the moment. The source that briefs the opposition is one of those unhappy parties. For them it has been longer than hoped. The advertising period is closed. I look forward to the appointment of the surgeon to perform those duties at the Canberra Hospital.

Canberra Hospital—triage issues

MRS BURKE: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I have received information today that multiple patients—up to six at a time—who present to the emergency department at the Canberra Hospital are being triaged and their details entered into the system on the basis of verbal information only that is provided by the patient presenting rather than from information obtained from an initial examination. Minister, can you advise the Assembly why this practice is being adopted at the emergency department of the Canberra Hospital.

Mr Stanhope: When are you going to apologise?


Mr Stefaniak: When are you?

MR SPEAKER: Order, members!

Mr Pratt: Let’s worry about the minister answering the question.

Mr Stanhope: You support your deputy leader, do you, Mr Stefaniak?

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