Page 2705 - Week 07 - Wednesday, 6 June 2012

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When you find out that we had patients recategorised to make the list look better, I would say that is a fail. When the health minister actually has to stand down when she is caught up in an inquiry into the falsification of emergency data results, I would say that is a fail. (Time expired.)

Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.29 to 2 pm.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—emergency department

MR SESELJA: My question is to the Minister for Health. The 2012 budget fails to provide emergency department waiting time data because “the results of emergency department performance in the territory are under a formal investigation”. In a briefing provided to Mr Hanson on 26 April, it was stated that corrected emergency department data for the first quarter of this year had been submitted to the commonwealth. Minister, if the information is suitable for the commonwealth, why will you not be accountable to Canberrans and release emergency department waiting times to them?

MS GALLAGHER: I do find it rather hypocritical of the Leader of the Opposition that they are criticising the fact that there have been data inconsistencies and then they are calling for data to be provided. We cannot provide at this point in time, while there are a number of different investigations underway, that data in a format of the budget. I do not think that anyone else does not get it, Mr Seselja. There are emergency department data inconsistencies, they are under investigation—

Mr Seselja: Why are they given to the commonwealth?

MS GALLAGHER: As far as I understand the issue, the information that was provided to the commonwealth in relation to the four-hour rule is different to the way that the triage categories data could have been presented in the budget. It is about a different subset of time. As I understand it, it related to a period of only a couple of months, and those files were gone through and corrected prior to that data being provided to the commonwealth. This relates to a different period of time and requires much broader investigation of the records, which is currently underway. When those investigations are complete, that information will be provided to the Assembly and the community.

MR SPEAKER: A supplementary, Mr Seselja.

MR SESELJA: Are the emergency department waiting times for the first quarter of this year worse than the waiting times for the same time last year?

MS GALLAGHER: I have not got that information before me because of the investigations and audits that are underway.

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