Page 268 - Week 01 - Thursday, 15 December 2016

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It is certainly important for the health of a patient that they be discharged when it is clinically safe to do so but it is also important for that patient and their friends or family who may have come to pick them up that they can be discharged when it is safe and when they expect to be discharged as well. So it is important to the overall functioning of the hospital that discharges are able to be made at the right time, to the benefit of the hospital as a whole, but I do reiterate that patients will only be discharged on clinical advice of clinicians.

MS LEE: Minister, is there any pressure put on the staff at the hospital to expedite discharges?

MS FITZHARRIS: Thank you for the supplementary. I am not sure what Ms Lee means by “pressure”, but I refer her to my previous answer.

MRS JONES: Minister, what assessment has made of risk to patients of early discharge from hospital as a result of the pressure being put on doctors by these messages? Is this not just shifting the blame for overloaded hospitals on to doctors?

MS FITZHARRIS: No, it is not. I reiterate: it is a clinical decision to discharge a patient from hospital. As you will be aware, clinicians take their—

Opposition members interjecting

MS FITZHARRIS: If the opposition had listened to my previous answer, they would know—and I am certain I recall them asking questions in this chamber of the previous Minister for Health—about the overall functioning of the hospital system. Clinicians have that very much in mind—to make sure that the hospital as a whole functions well, that the emergency department is able to see new patients and that patients who need to be admitted to wards in the hospital are able to have beds. I refer Mrs Jones to my previous answers on the functioning of the hospital as a whole and the clinical decisions that are made to discharge patients.

Government—construction and development policy

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, what options are available to the ACT government for following the money trail raised by construction or development activities in the ACT? What powers does the ACT government have in this space or is it simply regarded as a commonwealth power?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Mr Doszpot for the question. I am happy to take it on notice and come back. Certainly, the ACT government takes seriously the investigation of any matters. In terms of following matters through, we do everything in terms of the powers that we have. We do not move things on to the commonwealth. But I will get back to you with more detail in relation to the rest of the question.

MR DOSZPOT: Attorney, does the ACT government have a definition for what or who is a property developer?

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