Page 32 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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could not be fitted in. They were asked to consider whether another surgeon could do that work. If that was not appropriate, they were asked to reconsider whether that person was a category 1 patient. In those instances, doctors make those decisions on clinical grounds.

MR HANSON: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, contrary to your answer to Mr Seselja, why did the auditor find that 55 “reclassifications, or 32 per cent, had no evidence of having been approved by a doctor”?

MS GALLAGHER: You did not listen to my answer, Mr Hanson. My answer was that we found no evidence, and I have asked all the doctors that I meet through the operating theatres: have they ever known a patient to be downgraded without their knowledge and not one of them has been able to indicate yes. But what the audit has found is that there are 55 reclassifications in the audit where there is no approval—that is, a signature by the doctor. That is not to say that that approval has not been given. I have seen evidence of approval being given through the secretary of the private rooms of the doctor, but that would not classify as being approved by the doctors themselves. So, yes, the Auditor-General has found that everybody needs to lift their game. In actual fact, the Auditor-General finds that the government has provided millions of dollars for extra elective procedures through ACT Health. The Auditor-General found that our policies and procedures and operational guidelines are appropriate—

Mr Seselja: No, she didn’t.

Mr Smyth: That’s not what she said.

MS GALLAGHER: Yes, she did. What she said is that they have not been followed, but the policies and procedures are there. The guidelines are there, but there is an issue in the day-to-day management of them.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: As you mock the surgical booking staff, as you sit here and laugh at the work that they do every day—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Speaker, those opposite are laughing because they think it is a joke that the good people that work in this hospital and try every day—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Before we go to the next question, members, it is not appropriate to have six members shouting at the minister at one time. I will not tolerate it. Let us try and have a better standard in the chamber this year. A further supplementary, Ms Bresnan?

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