Page 3160 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 22 August 2012

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Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—patient care

MR SESELJA: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Minister for Health. On ABC 666 this morning, Ross Solly interviewed Holly Chaloner, who lost her grandmother, Lima Thatcher, after her wrong hip was operated on at Canberra Hospital. The following exchange occurred:

Mr Solly: “What has it done for your confidence in the health system here in the ACT?”

Ms Chaloner: “I actually have no confidence at the moment in going to the hospital in the ACT.”

Minister, why have these Canberrans lost confidence in the health system that you are responsible for?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank the Leader of the Opposition for the question. I think it is unfortunate when you have any situation of any person who goes to a hospital and does not have the experience they should have. It is with enormous regret that that occurs from time to time. Health systems are human systems. They are run by humans; they are staffed by humans—doctors and nurses treating patients. But there is a lot to be proud of in our health system, Mr Seselja—a fact that you refuse to acknowledge.

Whilst mistakes will occur, the measure of a health system is how you respond to those mistakes and how you put in place changes to stop those mistakes from occurring again. That is the measure of a good health system. We have a world-class health system here, something that we in this place should all be proud of; not, like you, taking enormous pleasure—in fact I think the only thing that gets Mr Hanson out of bed in the morning is if there is a complaint about the Canberra Hospital. It is the only thing that seems to set off any lights in Mr Hanson’s head—whether or not he can bag the Canberra Hospital.

Mr Seselja: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes. One moment, Chief Minister.

Mr Seselja: It is on direct relevance. The question had nothing to do with Mr Hanson; it was actually about Ms Chaloner and why Ms Chaloner and other Canberrans have lost confidence in the health system that the minister is responsible for. I ask you to ask her to return to the question.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you, Chief Minister; we will have no further commentary on Mr Hanson.

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