Page 4133 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 18 November 2015

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When we look to the workforce, though, I would like to share with those opposite my frustration on the workforce strategy that the commonwealth government had carriage to deliver. At the most recent disability ministers council meeting a paper was put forward by the commonwealth. It was withdrawn by the commonwealth, and it was withdrawn because it was not up to scratch. The commonwealth themselves have identified that as we move to the NDIS there is a need for a 70,000-disability workforce and they are yet to deliver a comprehensive strategy that goes to that workforce issue.

If those opposite have a level of anxiety in many ways, take that concern to your federal counterpart because I took that concern to him very clearly and very directly last week.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Lawder.

MS LAWDER: Minister, is Disability ACT desperate for staff, as reported in the Canberra Times today?

MS BURCH: It is certainly my understanding that they have an adequate workforce, and that would be a mix of permanent workers, as they currently are, and agency staff.

Health—cancer treatment

MS PORTER: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please update the Assembly on access to cancer treatment services in the ACT, particularly in relation to breast cancer.

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her question. Yes, I can update the Assembly on some of the latest statistics on access to cancer treatment, in particular access to radiotherapy services here in the ACT. The most recent statistics were published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in the last week, and the report card, I am pleased to say, is a positive one. The ACT treated the highest proportions of prostate and breast cancers nationally. This has been attributed to having a high detection rate. The ACT also achieved the highest proportion of patients treated within the emergency time frame of one day, according a result of 98.5 per cent. This is consistent with our strong performances in other areas in this most critical of emergency care areas, which is timely intervention to help address the spread of cancer.

The report also found that 90 per cent of all patients who received radiotherapy in the ACT commenced their treatment within 24 days, which is well ahead of the national average waiting time of 31 days.

I am pleased to say that the ACT also recorded the best waiting time result for commencing treatment of breast cancer and lung cancer of all jurisdictions. That was a very pleasing result as well.

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