Page 4448 - Week 12 - Wednesday, 14 October 2009

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

patients—in line with the MAPU that was opened—the elderly, complex patients from the emergency department, and the mental health assessment unit with six beds that will open in December.

Over time it is the complete reconfiguration of the emergency departments across Calvary and Canberra hospitals, which essentially doubles the size of our emergency department capacity. To coin a phrase of Mr Hanson’s that we always hear on the news, there is a raft of measures that the government has implemented and there is a raft more that I could talk about if you were genuinely interested. There is a raft of measures that we have already implemented and there is a raft of measures coming. (Time expired.)

MS PORTER: Can the minister explain to the Assembly what the process is by which patients are triaged on arrival, and how does this affect waiting times for people who present?

MS GALLAGHER: The emergency department’s triage system categorises patients into five categories from 1 to 5, 1 being the most urgent and 5 being the least urgent, and I think this does cause some confusion in the emergency department at times. If you are categorised as a category 4 and you understand there are only three people ahead of you and then there is a motor vehicle accident or a skiing accident and ambulances arrive with multi-trauma patients, there may be people who fit into categories 1, 2 and 3 and those people will be triaged ahead of you and therefore your position in the queue goes further down the list.

Mr Hanson: What about her complaints about the lack of communication?

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hanson, I am prepared to give you a confidential briefing on the individual case you raise. I cannot speak about it here, and I will not without the permission of the family. I do not have the permission of the family, but I can say that I have thoroughly reviewed the care provided in the situation and I believe that in the circumstances the care was adequate. That is the point that I can go to.

The triaging system does create confusion. I have often had people raise with me the idea that they should get a ticket with a number when they arrive, similar to a bank process, which I accept would give people a bit more feedback than they get at times if they are waiting and they have not seen a waiting room nurse. I should say that the waiting room nurse does go and check people’s observations through their waits in the emergency department. But that system simply would not work because of the nature of the triaging system and the fact that often what is going on behind the public waiting area cannot be seen and so people do not understand where their point is in the queue.

It is an issue, but we look at ways to improve communication all the time. (Time expired.)

Environment—urban street trees

MS LE COUTEUR: My question is to the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, and concerns the management of our urban street trees. How does the

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