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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 February 2016) . . Page.. 512 ..

We will also continue to build partnerships with hospitals in the surrounding region, particularly at Bega and Queanbeyan hospitals, because they both have had significant upgrades in recent years and there is far greater capacity for some surgery to occur there that is not occurring there at the moment.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, can you outline the other measures the government is focusing on to deliver sustainable change for patients requiring surgery in the ACT?

MR CORBELL: I thank Ms Porter for her supplementary. Yes, we are very focused on other measures to deliver sustainable change for patients requiring elective surgery in the ACT. The first is in the area of recruitment. We are making sure we are strengthening our capacity around workforce planning to anticipate the staff we need to maintain services into the future. That includes, in particular, clinical specialty areas where there are demand and challenges in maintaining the appropriate number of specialists. For example, orthopaedic surgery and ear, nose and throat surgery are two clinical areas that have been growing at a faster rate than other types of elective surgery. Equally, we are seeing significant increases in relation to urology. We need to continue to target the recruitment of additional permanent specialist staff but also locum staff so that we can help meet surges in demand as they come through, particularly in these specialty areas.

The other is in relation to technology. There is significant capacity for managing more conditions with medical rather than surgical options.

Mr Hanson: Do what Katy did—just fabricate the results. That was Katy’s approach, wasn’t it? Fabricate the numbers.

MR CORBELL: That means deferring the need for surgery at all because the better health outcome can be achieved through medical options. That is being done, for example, in relation to orthopaedics where we have physiotherapists working with people—

Mr Hanson: Are you fabricating the numbers as well, Simon?

Mr Gentleman: Point of order, Madam Speaker.

MR CORBELL: Could I ask you to stop the clock, Madam Speaker.

MADAM SPEAKER: A point of order. Stop the clock.

Mr Gentleman: Mr Hanson interjected across the chamber that Mr Corbell was fabricating numbers, Madam Speaker. That is completely inappropriate, and I ask that he withdraw.

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, that is not what I said. I said, “Are you fabricating numbers, as your predecessor did?”

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