Page 450 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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pressure on them around that. We have got agreement about what are reasonable targets to achieve, and the commonwealth government has agreed to that.

In relation to some of the changes that we will be putting into the ED, there are obviously additional resources—$12 million was in the last budget and we have some business or work practice changes that will come into effect. Again, the solution is going to be for the whole hospital to get behind it and not just leave this and treat this as an emergency department issue, which I think is how the media portray it and how the opposition portray it. We need to acknowledge that this is a health systems issue that has to be responded to.

We need to make sure we are diverting more people from the emergency department than are coming in. We can do that through innovations like the walk-in centre, and we will be taking those walk-in centres to the community. Again, the reason it is on the hospital grounds at the moment is that the doctors—the AMA and the Division of General Practice—would not agree to its operation unless it was on the hospital grounds. I know that little bit of information is constantly dropped out of criticism about the walk-in centre, but that walk-in centre would never have opened, it would never have seen the 30,000-odd people it has seen, if I had not agreed to it being on the hospital site.

I always had the view it should not be on the hospital site, but it was the only way that service was going to be opened. I am still going to face a few battles getting that service out to the community in the community health centres. But we have made election commitments to have one in—

Mr Hanson: Put doctors with it.

MS GALLAGHER: Well, there was a disagreement, as you know, Mr Hanson, between the AMA and the Division of General Practice and the staff specialists in the hospital. Let us just not forget that. The staff specialists in the hospital did not want it at the hospital; the AMA and the Division of General Practice refused to support the opening of the walk-in centre, and we needed their support around clinical governance and ensuring that the community felt it was a safe service. It was the first time we had opened a nurse-led service, and I could not have done that if I had the AMA and the Division of General Practice on the sidelines saying it was not a safe service. I needed them at the table as part of the governance committee. The terms on which they would participate in that were that it remain on the hospital site under the clinical governance of the hospital.

The staff specialists have a different view, and I am hoping that, with some careful negotiations, we can roll out our election commitments smoothly and with the support of the AMA and the division now that we have good data about the safety of the service and the excellent customer feedback from people who have used it. I do not know if any other members in this place have used it; I have used it four or five times for my children. It provides an excellent service, particularly on Sundays at 4 o’clock when children get sick, it is a great place. And 30,000 people cannot be wrong. Even though it has not reduced pressure off the ED as we would have liked it to, the fact that it is seeing the numbers that it is seeing—it is generally seeing the people that we

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