Page 2708 - Week 07 - Thursday, 3 July 2008

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I refer, for example, to Mrs Burke’s latest media release, quoted on WIN News last night, suggesting that 47 per cent of people removed from our elective surgery waiting list were because of death or not being contactable. This is absolutely ridiculous, and I table the following paper referred to by Mrs Burke:

Hospital waiting lists—2006-2007—Table 6.3.

The 47 per cent figure relates to 47 per cent of 204 people—that is, 100 people. If we were to believe Mrs Burke, 5,211 people would have been removed from the list because they had died or were uncontactable. One needs only to look at the data around the deaths in Australia and in the ACT in, say, 2006. The total number of deaths in the ACT was 1,484. Mrs Burke is saying that 5,211 people were removed from the list because they died or they could not be contacted. Where did she say that, Mr Speaker? Here we have Mrs Burke’s media release:

Mrs Burke said elective surgery waiting times are particularly concerning as … figures show 47.1 per cent of … patients removed from elective surgery lists due to death or uncontactability compared with 8 per cent in nearby NSW.

I repeat: 47 per cent of 200, not 47 per cent of 11,186. Forty-seven per cent—almost four times the number of people who actually died in the ACT are apparently removed from the elective surgery waiting lists, according to Mrs Burke. Of course, Mrs Burke suggested two or three years ago that we should actually close the elective surgery waiting list because we were not getting to everybody; therefore we should just cut it off. That was said in 2003. On 20 October 2003, she said:

… there was no point admitting more people for surgery, when those already on the list couldn’t be catered for.

You see, we have this funny thing in health care where the sickest get the treatment first and then you triage down. So to close the list would mean that those who are sickest and not on a list could not get on a list for their surgery. That, of course, would have a disastrous impact for the ACT community.

So there we have it—yet another in the long list of mistakes from the shadow minister for health. They actually want us to believe that this woman, if elected to government in October or in years to come, could run the health system when she is making mistakes like that after being in the job for so long.

ACT Policing—numbers

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Police and Emergency Services. Minister, can you please inform the Assembly of the progress of additional recruits to ACT Policing and the benefits of the government’s extra investment in policing numbers?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for the question. I will be very pleased tomorrow to be welcoming 21 new ACT Policing constables to the ranks at the graduation ceremony at the AFP college in Barton. Eighteen men and three women from all over

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