Page 4246 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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the national average; we are now at 59. We were at 61 last year, as Mrs Jones said. We have seen a significant improvement over a short period time, but there is more work to be done. The steps that I have outlined in earlier comments point to the commitment the government has to taking those steps.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, other than a higher number of lower acuteness presentations, what is the difference with ACT’s ED that means that we are worse than the rest of the country when we are seeing proportionally fewer people?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mrs Jones for the supplementary. This is precisely why the government has undertaken the detailed analysis that has been undertaken by the Health Directorate over the past two to three months, which has looked at what is going on—inside the ED, in the rest of the hospital, what is happening with admission, practice, bed availability, what is happening with decision-making around access to treatments, access to scans and other things that need to be done that inform a decision around admission.

All these factors add up in determining whether or not someone is seen on time or not. So the government has done this work. We have identified the steps that need to be taken. Shortly we will be talking further about how that will be implemented, how we will support the doctors and nurses in our ED to improve timeliness and make sure that the hospital as a whole works better, as well as improve overall capacity by expanding the emergency department with the $25 million project that is now underway there.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, why have ED wait times gone from some of the best in Australia in 2001 to now the worst in Australia under this Labor government?

MR CORBELL: I refer Mr Hanson to my earlier answers.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, when will Canberrans have ED wait times that at least match the rest of Australia?

MR CORBELL: The government will be making further announcements in due course that will outline the very practical steps that we believe can be taken to significantly improve performance against the national emergency access targets.

Mr Hanson: When?

MR CORBELL: I am not going to make an announcement of government policy today. It is not appropriate that I do so. The government is very focused on this. I simply say to Mr Hanson that he will see very shortly the steps the government is going to take in this regard so that we see further access and we see better time limits,

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