Page 1334 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 5 April 2011

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Mr Corbell: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the Minister for Health has portfolio responsibility for the provision of health services in the corrections environment. Those opposite fail to understand that distinction. It shows they are not doing their job.

Mr Smyth: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, the quote says there was no coordination across providers in AMC. I want to know what is the problem from the corrections side of the issue, why there is not the coordination, why there is not the leadership and why they are being implemented ineffectively.

MR SPEAKER: It is my understanding that the practice of this place is that ministers are free to take the responsibility for questions as they see are aligned with the administrative orders. The Minister for Health is entitled to take the question.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. As I said, the Burnet report was commissioned as part of a review of the health services which cover the drug services that Mr Smyth is talking about. It was commissioned precisely to identify—once we had 12 months worth of data—exactly how corrections health, their programs, the different providers, were going in terms of providing health services to the Alexander Maconochie Centre community. The whole reason you commission these reports is to identify areas for improvement and to respond to those.

It has raised some issues and, indeed, the government will respond with an interim response on Thursday to some of the recommendations that the Burnett report has identified. But it has identified the fact that we need to improve our coordination of services, both in a non-government sense and IN a government sense, in terms of how we provide health services to the people at the Alexander Maconochie Centre. But I can say that corrections health and corrections ACT are trying to provide the best services they can to this community. The health services are a key part of that. As we know, and as those opposite will know from reading the report, in terms of the complexity of the population which we seek to support, the level of health issues of this community and the environment in which those services are provided, I do not think there is anywhere more complex to deliver those services.

With two years of experience—although this looked at one year’s worth of data—there are ways to improve what is a good health service and make it better. That is what we are determined to do. That is why we commissioned Burnet. That is why we will respond to it. The opposition went to the last election with a commitment to cut resources from the Hume medical centre—let us remember that: they were going to cut nursing positions—and for them to sit here now and raise concerns about the health service at the jail is a little bit rich, I have to say. Their late interest in corrections health is also rather surprising.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Smyth?

MR SMYTH: I am not sure which minister wants to answer but, ministers, why is there no coordination across providers in the AMC?

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