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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 09 Hansard (Wednesday, 20 August 2008) . . Page.. 3342 ..

I know the Liberal Party opposes that; that is very clear, again, from this line of questioning. It is disappointing that there is not a bipartisan consensus in this place around investment in public education, that there is not a view that our students deserve the best teachers teaching in the best facilities, and that the Liberal Party believes that investment in public education is throwing good money after bad. That is very disappointing.

Hospitals—patient satisfaction

MS MacDONALD: My question is to Ms Gallagher in her capacity as Minister for Health. Minister, could you update the Assembly on our community’s satisfaction with the current public hospital system?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms MacDonald for the question. I am delighted to be able to report to the Assembly on the latest data available to us on patient satisfaction with the public hospital system. In the past I have given reports on this when these surveys have been completed. As I often say in this place, the ACT has one of the best health systems in the world, and I believe the best health system in this country. We are very lucky to be able to offer the level of service that we do through our public hospital system for a community and a city our size.

It is important, as we provide public hospital services, that we continue to talk with the community that use them—particularly, in this instance, the patients that use them. To do that, over the past two to three years we have undertaken four surveys of patient satisfaction within the Canberra Hospital. The latest report, which is known as Wave 4, collects data from March 2007 to August 2007 and compares these results with those of like Victorian hospitals, which are surveyed in the Victorian patient satisfaction monitor.

The report compares TCH results against A1 and A2 benchmark hospitals. Category A2 is the benchmark category for the Canberra Hospital and includes 11 similar-sized hospitals such as Box Hill, Dandenong, Frankston and Geelong hospitals. A complete list of hospitals is available in the report.

Category A1 data has also been included in the report for comparative purposes only; statistical analysis compared to TCH has not been carried out. The A1 hospitals include Austin Health, Monash Medical Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, St Vincent’s Hospital and The Alfred. The range of services provided at TCH sits between both A1 and A2 benchmark groups.

The current TCH patient satisfaction survey had a 43 per cent response rate. So 453 randomly selected patients were sent a questionnaire and 186 patients participated. This is significantly up from the last report—about 39 per cent. The A2 benchmark hospitals had a 37 per cent response rate. Eighty-two per cent of those who responded were Medicare patients—that is, public patients, for those opposite—and 14 per cent were private patients.

The remaining four per cent were Department of Veterans’ Affairs patients. TCH respondents were more likely to be male—52 per cent—and have had an emergency admission—54 per cent. The highest percentage of respondents—38 per cent—were people in the age group of 65 and over.

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