Page 18 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 9 February 2016

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I present the following paper:

Government priorities for 2016—Ministerial statement, 9 February 2016.

I move:

That the Assembly take note of the paper

Question resolved in the affirmative.


Mr Barr presented the following paper:

Key Legislation Priorities for 2016, February 2016.

Elective surgery

Ministerial statement

MR CORBELL (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Attorney-General, Minister for Capital Metro, Minister for Health, Minister for Police and Emergency Services and Minister for the Environment and Climate Change) (10.50): Madam Speaker, in November last year I directed ACT Health to conduct a blitz on the long wait surgery list. The government provided an additional $11.8 million for a further 1,000 elective surgery operations directly targeting patients who were on the long wait surgery list in the ACT. When I made that announcement there were more than 1,200 current long wait elective surgery patients in the ACT, the majority of whom were waiting for orthopaedic, urology, and ear, nose and throat surgeries.

Through the hard work of surgeons, anaesthetists, surgical nurses, ACT Health employees, our surgical task force and many, many others, I am delighted to inform the Assembly that more than 250 procedures have already been completed above the usual surgical activity levels. This is excellent news for more than 250 people starting 2016 who have been waiting on that long wait list who have now had their elective surgery completed in the public system. This progress is expected to continue and we remain well on track to complete the thousand surgeries by the middle of this year.

But, of course, this is not about the number of surgeries undertaken; it is about people. It is about people in our community who require surgical care to improve their health and wellbeing. Over the last 13 years there has been a 70 per cent increase in access to elective surgery for people on our public hospital waiting lists, despite the ABS estimating that our population grew by only 19 per cent.

To further illustrate the point, in the first full year of government in 2002-03, the ACT Labor government provided 7,661 elective surgery procedures, but this financial year there will be more than 13,000 procedures undertaken. As a government, Labor has continually invested in tackling elective surgery waits, including through the most recent budget that saw almost $15 million invested for more surgeries and operations over two years to provide in particular for an extra 500 elective surgeries and an additional 500 endoscopy cases.

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