Page 33 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 15 February 2011

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MS BRESNAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Minister, what role do visiting medical officers or clinicians outside the hospital system play in the overall process for the waiting list?

MS GALLAGHER: The visiting medical officers are a very important part of the elective surgery management at both of our hospitals. I think the audit also goes to some areas where our surgeons can assist us to improve the overall management of the waiting list. Some of the issues are around standardising requests for admission forms, forwarding those requests for admissions in a timely manner, abiding by the policies and procedures of the hospital in terms of giving clinical reasons and sign-off for any movements of patients within the list. Also, I hope that, over the next few months, there will be a preparedness to consider sharing lists—in particular, for those surgeons where their waits are so considerable and there are surgeons ready and able to do that work with shorter lists, that there would be some willingness on behalf of the surgeons to cooperate in that area.

I had a meeting last Thursday night with the surgeons at the Canberra Hospital and a surgeon from Calvary Hospital to talk about some of the improvements. Some of the advice I have got from doctors themselves is that they do categorise incorrectly, that they do that knowingly—that they would categorise someone as a category 1 when they do not technically fit into category 1, solely on the grounds that they want that person to have surgery, and to have it in a timely fashion. I can understand that, but what that does in compounding our pressure is that we then have inappropriately categorised category 1s that need to be dealt with within 30 days, alongside appropriately categorised category 1s that need to be done within 30 days. That does place additional pressure on those who are trying to manage surgical bookings at both hospitals. This audit, and the other work that has been done that is noted in this audit—(Time expired.)

Bimberi Youth Justice Centre—assaults

MS HUNTER: My question is to the Minister for Children and Young People and is in regard to the assault on a private security guard at Bimberi. Minister, in Hansard of 8 December 2010, you said:

The new recruits will commence on Monday, 13 December. I am advised that this will end the need to engage private security guards on night shifts when Bimberi is understaffed, which was one of the concerns brought to my attention and which I agree is undesirable.

Minister, can you explain why a private security guard was still being used seven weeks after new recruits began work?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Hunter for her question. In December, we had staffing that was relevant and comparable to the number of young residents in Bimberi. In December, the advice to me was that, with those new recruits, MSS staff would not be required.

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