Page 5533 - Week 15 - Wednesday, 9 December 2009

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Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—disabled patients

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services. Minister, what action are you taking to ensure that long-term disabled patients are moved out of the Canberra Hospital into suitable accommodation? Why are patients currently experiencing significant delays in moving out of hospital?

MS BURCH: I thank the member for his question and I just point out that I understand this is question 67 from those opposite since I have been minister. So thank you very much. I just also point out that for the year before I became minister, there were 14 questions from those opposite.

Mr Seselja: You have vindicated our strategy, though, Joy.

MS BURCH: So thank you very much for the interest in transitioning—

Members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, members. That is enough.

MS BURCH: from hospital. The ACT government has allocated over $3 million for four years to assist people who have been long-stay residents in either acute care hospital beds or the rehabilitation unit. These people have been waiting for appropriate community support and accommodation. Disability ACT has been working closely with ACT Health to determine the most appropriate support and services needed to move each individual to the most appropriate living environment.

Given their complex needs, this stuff is not to be taken lightly. It is not to be rushed. It must ensure that their living conditions and environment support structures are absolutely without question focused on their safety and their ability to live independently.

Planning must take account of each individual’s personal living aspirations and the informal supports around them, as well as their housing, equipment and formal services that they need. Of the eight long-stay patients, three have been transitioned out of hospital into long-term arrangements. Transition plans, accommodation and support arrangements continue to be developed or trialled for the remaining five patients.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, a supplementary question?

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