Page 1842 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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MS PORTER: Minister, what is the government doing to support residential growth across the territory?

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Porter, I am sorry, I have to rule that out of order. It does not relate in any way to the foregoing questions in relation to non-compliance with leases.

Health—end-of-life forum

DR BOURKE: My question is for the Minister for Health. Could the minister please update the Assembly on the end-of-life issues and decision making community forum held on Saturday, 4 May, convened by the Local Hospital Network Council?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question and for his interest in the Local Hospital Network Council’s work. The end-of-life issues and decision making forum was held last Saturday, with a very good turn-up from the Canberra community. Over 100 people spent Saturday talking with and listening to experts present on issues relating to end-of-life matters.

It was the first community engagement forum that has been held by the Local Hospital Network Council and I think it is a great initiative of theirs. They are in a unique position here in the ACT to significantly influence health policy and planning. And this forum provided them with the opportunity to do that, as well as show leadership from the members of the council

As I said, the forum was very well attended, with over 100 individuals giving up Saturday. The objectives of the forum were to stimulate awareness across the community about the importance of discussing and documenting decisions about future healthcare needs in preparation for a time when an individual may be unable to participate in their medical care decisions. It was also to assist the Local Hospital Network Council to better understand the impediments within the community to discuss advance care planning processes, to determine any impediments within the healthcare system and to discuss with clients the provision of end-of-life palliative care services.

The format of the forum was a series of presentations by eminent speakers in the morning, followed by a World Cafe-style discussion session in the afternoon. Speakers included Dr Imogen Mitchell, the director of intensive care at the Canberra Hospital; Dr Peter Sewell, senior specialist in intensive care and head of the clinical unit in ethics and health law at the University of Newcastle; Professor Jane Hall from the University of Technology, Sydney; Ms Lorraine Walker, Chief Magistrate here in the ACT; and Dr Adele Stevens from the Health Care Consumers Association.

Towards the end of the forum, after the cafe presentation, a number of possible recommendations were formulated which will now be considered by the Local Hospital Network Council who will then provide that report to me. Indeed, I am happy to share that with other members of the Assembly. I hope to receive that within the next couple of months.

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