Page 113 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 16 February 2011

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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

MR SPEAKER (Mr Rattenbury) took the chair at 10 am and asked members to stand in silence and pray or reflect on their responsibilities to the people of the Australian Capital Territory.

Minister for Health

Motion of censure

MR HANSON (Molonglo) (10.00): I move:

That this Assembly censures the Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, for her ongoing mismanagement of the Health portfolio, including:

(1) the highly critical findings of the recent Auditor-General’s report into waiting lists for elective surgery and medical treatment that found:

(a) the strategies implemented by ACT Health have not been adequate to address increased demand, and reduce the waiting lists for elective surgery;

(b) notwithstanding increased funding by the Commonwealth and ACT Governments in the recent years, the elective surgery waiting lists have not shown improvements, and the ACT compared unfavourably to other jurisdictions;

(c) the median wait was 75 days in the ACT (the Australian median was 34 days);

(d) more recent statistics in 2009-10 indicated a general worsening situation compared to 2008-09;

(e) ACT Health conducted an internal review of the outpatient services at The Canberra Hospital (TCH) and a draft report in October 2010 found deficiencies in strategic planning, inconsistent application of policies and procedures across the OPDs, ad hoc processes for managing waiting lists, and poor and inefficient communications with clinicians, consumers and staff; and

(f) classification of clinical urgency categories did not always reflect ACT Health’s policy and procedures and therefore raised doubts on the reliability and appropriateness of the clinical classifications for patients within the waiting lists;

(2) the recent loss of confidence in Katy Gallagher MLA as Minister for Health and calls for her to be dismissed by the ACT Visiting Medical Officers Association in a letter written by the President of the Association to the Chief Minister;

(3) the Minister ignoring, denying and attempting to cover up elements of very serious issues in the Obstetrics Department of TCH, resulting in a highly critical clinical review, and a review into management and behaviour aspects that has been entirely suppressed by ACT Health;

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