Page 1904 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 5 May 2009

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Questions without notice


MR COE: My question is to the Minister for Health. The December quarterly performance reports show that waiting times for elective endoscopies across all categories increased. Minister, why is this so?

MS GALLAGHER: I do not actually have the quarterly performance report in front of me, so I will check the detail of that question. But usually if waiting times are increased it is because higher priority patients are being seen; that is, clinical decisions that are being made by the doctors at the time. Firstly, we go to emergency surgery, then we go to category 1, then we go to category 2 and category 3, and the decisions around that are made by clinicians, as they are quite rightly.

But I can assure the member that we will this year deliver record amounts of elective surgery; that is record amounts of Canberrans will be having access to elective surgery. It will be in excess of 9,500 procedures for the year and that is directly attributable to the investment that this government has put into elective surgery and indeed into removing long-wait patients from the list. From time to time and from quarter to quarter you will see fluctuations in those results, but the overall health of the elective surgery program is very healthy, I am pleased to say, both in throughput, clinical urgency and more people than ever getting access to elective surgery.

I can see what the opposition have been spending their time on since we last sat, from the questions that I am getting at the moment. Obviously a couple of you have been reading the statements of intent. A couple have been reading the quarterly performance report. I presume the whole team has signed up to the “try to trip Katy up” program that was started six months ago and has failed to produce a result yet—

Mr Seselja: She must not have been in the same Assembly as us for the past couple of months.

MS GALLAGHER: and I imagine a significant proportion—indeed I imagine Mr Seselja and Mr Hanson—have been holed up watching Facebook, putting their posts on, supporting offensive content, embarking on a little bit of web browsing, a little bit of fraudulent posts on walls.

It is actually good to see how you have been spending your time. I actually thought you had all gone on leave for a few weeks; I had not seen any of you. But I guess you can peruse Facebook at home, in the privacy of your own home.

Mr Hanson: Katy, I don’t often see your car when I turn up to work or leave at night, let me tell you—too busy out there for a little walk in the sunshine instead of at an organ donors thing you have been talking about lately.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hanson, your fascination with me borders on unusual, to say the least, and I—

Mr Hanson: You know why? It’s because I want your job!

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