Page 1304 - Week 05 - Tuesday, 5 May 2015

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I thank members for their support for this bill. I thank Ms Lawder for her support and for outlining the important role of the committee. I thank Mr Rattenbury for his support and I note the history that he described. I commend the bill to the Assembly.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Leave granted to dispense with the detail stage.

Bill agreed to.

Sitting suspended from11.50 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice


MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, last week the National Health Performance Authority produced its latest report, which shows that Canberra has the two most inefficient hospitals in Australia. In a comparison of 48 major metropolitan hospitals, the Canberra Hospital was the most inefficient in Australia. Calvary hospital was the second worst. The extra cost of running Canberra’s hospitals in one year would have been enough to treat 63,000 more acute patients.

The report says that as a result of new, innovative development work by the authority, they can make “meaningful comparisons of the relative efficiency” of Australian hospitals.

Minister, why has Canberra got the two most inefficient hospitals in Australia?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. There are a range of factors that drive the relative costs of delivering hospital services in the ACT compared to other jurisdictions. In particular, there are issues of historical legacies associated with particular employment conditions, such as generous superannuation schemes which were inherited from the commonwealth. This is one of the factors that drive the underlying cost base for the delivery of health services in the territory. There are other factors as well, such as the relatively broad scope of clinical services that are provided in the ACT and some of the difficulties with economies of scale in delivering those services compared to larger health systems. These are the types of issues that the authority notes in its report but that were not mentioned by Mr Hanson in his question. They are key factors that drive some of the costs associated with our hospital services.

That said, there are still a range of other issues that we need to continue to focus on. For example, we as a government have been able to drive down the level of growth in health funding over the past three to four years as a result of improvements in efficiency, improvements in the cost of delivery of service. Indeed, growth is now well below the eight per cent per annum high that it was three or four years ago.

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