Page 473 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 18 February 2015

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are in a pressured environment at times—there is no doubt about that—but that is nothing unique in the public hospital system. It is a challenge driven by increasing demand, particularly for tertiary healthcare services right across Australia, and the ACT is no different from that.

We work very constructively with our nursing unions, with our allied health representative bodies, with our doctors’ representative bodies and with all staff concerned to continually improve the patient experience and to continually improve the delivery of care. I am very pleased that we have a hospital system which has one of the lowest rates—indeed, the lowest rate—of readmission of any public hospital system in the country. It speaks to the quality of the health care that is being provided, but patient experience is equally important, and we continue to work very closely on that issue in conjunction with all staff within ACT Health.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, at the Canberra Hospital does the quality of patient care need to improve, as stated by the Health Care Consumers Association?

MR CORBELL: There is no doubt that the quality of the patient experience has to improve. There are areas for improvement there. I see many comments come through to my office from people who have received care at the Canberra Hospital. Many of them are compliments and they are grateful for the high quality of care that they have received from staff at the hospital. Equally, complaints are received as well. We respond proactively to each and every one of those. So the patient experience is a critical one. We are responding to that in a very systemic way. We are making sure that there is—

Mr Hanson: A point of order, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order, Mr Hanson.

Mr Hanson: The question was very specific as to whether the quality of patient care needed to improve, not the patient experience. Could the minister be directly relevant and answer the question that, as stated by the Health Care Consumers Association, the quality of patient care needs to improve.

MADAM SPEAKER: The question was in relation to the quality of patient care. I remind you, Mr Corbell, that that was the question and ask you to be directly relevant.

MR CORBELL: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would say that the patients’ experience is part of whether or not there is quality care, and that is why I am turning my mind to that element. If you do not have a good experience in hospital, it does not really matter whether or not you actually get your illness addressed; you still leave with a negative perception. So this is part of the continuum of care that we need to provide. If you want to look at the quality of care in terms of whether or not people are happy to be readmitted after they have received treatment, we have the lowest level—

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