Page 4062 - Week 10 - Tuesday, 20 September 2011

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So the ability for ESI to operate here in the ACT is contingent on the approvals that they receive from the EPA. Without an authorisation from the EPA, they cannot operate. That is the key approval. That approval was in place. It is the subject of review on a yearly basis, on an annual basis, with the most recent review having been conducted earlier this year. In relation to standards around the management of PCBs, my understanding is that the EPA applies the relevant nationally agreed standards.

Hospitals—waiting lists

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, in the recently released national partnership agreement on the elective surgery waiting list reduction plan it states: “While not achieving its targets under part 3A or for the 90th percentile of part 3B, the ACT met its target under part 3B for the median waiting time and under clause A23.c is eligible for 40 per cent of its share of reward funding under part 2.” Why did the ACT fail to meet its targets under part 3A under the elective surgery waiting list reduction plan?

MS GALLAGHER: Because of the long wait strategy that we are implementing, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hanson, a supplementary.

MR HANSON: Minister, what is the total funding that the ACT would have received had we met our elective surgery targets and how much will be received now that we have failed to do so?

MS GALLAGHER: I can get the total figure. There are different quantities under different national partnerships. I think it is in the order of $20 million that has been received in extra funding from the commonwealth government for a range of activities that have occurred. This is the agreement, of course, that you urged us not to sign up to. We have received that money already. I think it is in the order of—

Mr Seselja: You were giving away 50 per cent—

MS GALLAGHER: There we go again. There is your defence. We have done about a thousand more operations in the space of one year with some of that money. And it is important to note that in order to get the full reward funding, money we missed out on—I think Mr Hanson is fully aware—is about $900,000.

Mr Hanson: I want the exact amount. That is my question.

MS GALLAGHER: I will bring you the exact amount. It is in the order of $900,000. In order to get that we would have had to stop operating on 105 long-wait patients in order to get funding to do just under 100 additional operations.

Mr Hanson: You couldn’t do both?

MS GALLAGHER: No. It was not a do both situation. In order to manipulate the waiting list, which is what we would have had to do, we would have had to restructure

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