Page 2095 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 2 August 2016

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Debate interrupted in accordance with standing order 74 and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour.

Sitting suspended from 12.31 to 2.30 pm.

Questions without notice

Hospitals—performance data

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. The latest health data that you have shared with the people of Canberra was the December 2015 quarterly report. Contrary to your government’s mantra of open government, we are now well overdue for two health and hospital reports. The March 2016 report was due in April and the June 2016 report was due in July. In the lead-up to the last election, the data in these particular reports was fabricated to make the government’s performance look better than it was. There have been errors in these reports in both 2014 and 2015, currently being investigated by the Auditor-General. Minister, all these errors have enabled you to claim improvements in health statistics that simply did not happen. Minister, how can the people of Canberra trust any health reports you produce prior to the October election?

MR CORBELL: I thank Mr Hanson for his question. It is simply not the case for him to claim, as he does, that this means that data presented by my directorate does not indicate improvements, because we know there has been very significant improvement in elective surgery waiting lists, in ED waiting times and in a range of other key measures.

Turning directly to Mr Hanson’s specific question, my directorate is very cognisant of the need to ensure that the data that is reported is free of error. That is why my directorate is taking a small amount of additional time to ensure that appropriate quality assurance processes are in place so that data that is presented is accurate.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, has the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare been made aware of the errors in your 2014 and 2015 reports?

MR CORBELL: The first point I make is that the errors that have occurred are not large in terms of their quantum and therefore are highly unlikely to be material when it comes to data that is provided to national reporting bodies such as the AIHW but I am confident that my directorate has taken all appropriate steps to notify recipients of our data where it has been necessary to do so.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

MRS JONES: Minister, what will you do to ensure the accuracy of any new health reports that are released?

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