Page 4580 - Week 12 - Thursday, 15 October 2009

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MR CORBELL: For the reasons I stated yesterday, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Bresnan?

MS BRESNAN: Minister, can you table any advice you have received regarding these regulations and why they have not been made?

MR CORBELL: I would need to review the advice I have received, so I will take the question on notice.

Hospitals—waiting times

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and relates to the AMA’s public health report card issued yesterday. Minister, the report card and comments from medical professionals in today’s Canberra Times state that the ACT’s surgery waits are “alarming”; it is “unacceptable” for how long it takes for someone to see an obstetrician; bed occupancy rates were “unacceptably high”; the median waiting times for elective surgery had increased from 39 to 74 days under Labor’s management of the health area; and “people are suffering pain they didn’t need to suffer”. Minister, after eight years of Labor administration, shouldn’t you take responsibility for these results and stop blaming history?

MS GALLAGHER: I do take responsibility for these results, and I think I have said that a number of times. There are three areas—

Mr Hanson: No, you haven’t.

MS GALLAGHER: I have. I have said a number of times that there are three areas, in at least probably a hundred areas of performance reporting in the ACT health system, that I would like to see improved. They are the emergency department waiting times for category 3, the emergency department waiting times for category 4 and the waiting times for elective surgery, particularly for some category 2—not category 2A—and category 3 patients. I have been open about that, and we have in place a number of strategies to deal with it. I should say that Mrs Dunne’s question—

Opposition members interjecting—


MS GALLAGHER: It is difficult when the interjections reach the point that, without a microphone, Mr Speaker, I can’t hear myself.

Mr Coe interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Have you finished, Alistair, or do you want to keep going? Okay, we will just wait for you to get wound up again.

There are a number of strategies which we have put in place. There are new operating theatres, there are more beds, we are doing more surgery than ever before. I will go

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