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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 25 February 2010) . . Page.. 774 ..

executed, with failure to accept any responsibility for what went wrong. When this all fell over, it was everybody’s fault but her own.

Mrs Dunne highlighted the differences between Calvary and the Canberra Hospital there and was attacked by the Chief Minister for doing so. I refer to page 91 of the ACT Health annual report. If you look at the statistics, which have been amended to reflect the different targets of the hospital, because you are comparing oranges and apples, when you look at how the Canberra Hospital achieved in reaching its targets, and compare it to Calvary, you will see that Calvary achieved a far better rate of success in achieving its targets than the Canberra Hospital did. All Mrs Dunne was doing yesterday was comparing what is on the factual record. She was attacked in the most vile manner by those opposite for doing so.

There is no doubt that our health system lags behind the rest of this country in a number of very important health statistics. The minister says this is about “we have got the best health outcomes in terms of health”. As the wealthiest demographic in Australia, we do. There are reasons for that, because determinants of health are linked to socioeconomic factors.

I am not talking about those; I am talking about things like elective surgery, where we have the longest median wait, almost double the national average. The minister says, “That is because we are coping on the long-term focus. That is where we are at.” But if you actually look at what is recorded, the number of patients or the proportion of patients who have waited over a year for elective surgery was 10.3 per cent of all patients on the waiting list in 2007-08—10.3 per cent against the national average of three per cent. It is three times worse than the national average.

The minister said in this place yesterday that she is focusing on the long term, and that is why the median looks so bad. Let me tell you that the long term looks even worse, Mr Assistant Speaker. It is a disaster for the people waiting so long for elective surgery. That figure is 1.8 per cent in New South Wales; here it is 10 per cent of people waiting over a year for their elective surgery.

What about our emergency department waiting times? What is she going to do to fix those? We know that our urgent and semi-urgent categories are 52 and 53 per cent respectively. That is deemed unacceptable—not by me, but by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. They are saying that that is way below the requirement, which is meant to be 75 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

What was it when this government came to power, Mr Assistant Speaker? I will tell you what it was. It was not 52 per cent and 53 per cent; it was 80 per cent and 72 per cent. It was achieving the standard—and exceeding it. Now what do we see? We see that we are failing. We are failing dismally. It is the minister—and her colleagues that preceded her, including the Chief Minister—who have led us to this point through their absolute abrogation of responsibility.

Their one defence—the one thing that the minister and the Chief Minister come up with—is this: “Well, it is because Kate Carnell closed 114 beds 14 years ago.” Let me say two things to you. Firstly, I do not see evidence of that. Secondly, there is the

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