Page 2650 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 7 August 2013

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In terms of the Auditor-General, my office has spoken to the Auditor-General’s Office. I understand that the Auditor-General will be conducting a review in 2014-15 on the progress of implementation of the recommendations of performance report No 6 of 2012—Emergency department performance information. This review will largely only address the processes around the performance information, but I do understand that one of the issues is to look at how to ensure that the indicators which the department reports against go to the heart of the issue.

I note that recommendation 1 from the 2012 Auditor-General’s report was to improve publicly reported performance indicators to include additional qualitative indicators. The Greens would like to see more work done to address ways to reduce the pressure on our hospitals, and in particular, having regard to this motion, our emergency rooms. We all know that there is a huge amount of pressure on our emergency staff, but this is not necessarily an indicator of a poorly run facility.

All members in this place would agree that it is vital that the emergency department runs as efficiently as possible. But we do not want to divert huge amounts of government resources to evaluating artificial KPIs when they do not actually address the key issues—reducing the number of people using emergency in the first case, for instance.

They are the comments that I wanted to make when it comes to this motion. There are really two issues blended together here. One is the nurse-led walk-in centres and how that is going, and the issue of how that then relates to the emergency department and how that is performing. The reason I have framed the amendment in the way I have is that I think there are steps being taken which will improve the performance of the emergency departments. I do believe that the walk-in centres will help to ease pressure on the emergency departments. In particular, when they are opened in Belconnen and Tuggeranong, they will provide both an alternative for some people to making a trip to the emergency department and a good health service for those parts of our city.

I believe, as I have outlined, that in the emergency access plan and the resources that have been provided to implement that through the budget, practical steps are being taken to improve performance in the emergency department. I think there is information that Mr Hanson has asked for that is valid to be presented today, and that is why my amendment calls on the health minister to table that information in the Assembly. I now move my amendment as circulated:

Omit all words after “That this Assembly”, substitute:

(1) affirms its support for nurse-led walk-in centres, and supports the Government’s plans for the construction of new centres at Belconnen and Tuggeranong;

(2) notes that:

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