Page 6093 - Week 14 - Thursday, 8 December 2011

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(3) See answer to question 1.

(4) The AIHW routinely provide statistics for all states and territories related to adoption and include the number of children placed from overseas countries with Australian families. These numbers have continued to decline over the last decade and are related to the corresponding decline in adoption applications experienced by all states and territories. Increasingly the children placed through the Intercountry adoption programs are older and have high and complex care needs.

(5) The time frame from an adoption application being lodged for either overseas adoption or local adoption through to an approval and placement of the applicants on the suitability roster will vary but in general will be completed within a six month period.

Issues which may impact on this time frame include the timing of applicant inquiry and subsequent attendance at the required information sessions and preparation seminar program, specific health issues which require clarification with treating specialists prior to commencement of applicant assessment and the applicants provision of the required documentation to facilitate the assessment process.

Thereafter timeframes for placement of a child for adoption with approved applicants is unpredictable. For local born infants the birth parent/s will be significantly involved in the planning for their infant and will ultimately make the final choice of the parent for their child, from suitable approved applicants. As previously noted this will result in on average, one adoption placement per year.

The time frames for the process of placement of a child for intercountry adoption are determined by the overseas country. Currently time frames have significantly increased in all programs.

Sleep Laboratory—patients and staff
(Question No 1944)

Mr Hanson asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 7 December 2011:

(1) What is the median waiting time for treatment for a patient referred to the Sleep Laboratory.

(2) What is the total full-time equivalent (FTE) staff employed at the Sleep Laboratory.

(3) What is the total FTE staff employed at the Sleep Laboratory in the categories of (a) doctors and specialists, (b) nurses and (c) administration.

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) Referrals for a sleep study from a General Practitioner are sent in to the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine and they are triaged by a specialist physician. Urgent cases are seen within one month of referral. A routine referral for a sleep problem today will be booked for a specialist physician consultation most likely in mid 2012.

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