Page 336 - Week 02 - Tuesday, 14 February 2017

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Health reporting

Ministerial statement

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (10.29): Health services are one of if not the most important service a government can provide to its community. Each year, thousands of Canberrans access our health services, either through our public hospitals, community health centres and walk-in centres or through our programs and support services. And our doctors, nurses, other health professionals and the non-clinical and administrative staff that support them do a fantastic job delivering these high quality tailored services to our community 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

As health minister, I am very proud of the quality healthcare system we have here in the ACT, and I am proud of the record investments this government has made and will continue to make to ensure everyone in our community can get access to health care when and where they need it. This is particularly important as our city continues to grow.

As the new Minister for Health, it is important to me that not only do we have a high quality healthcare system that Canberrans trust but also we have the right data available to us to monitor and track our performance. As members are aware, recently the annual report on government services was released, and some ACT health data was not available to the Productivity Commission at the time of reporting for that report.

Obviously, this is disappointing, but I am determined to make sure that the community and health stakeholders have full confidence in the data produced by ACT Health and that ACT Health and I, as minister, are accountable for its performance. That is why I have asked for a comprehensive, system-wide review that takes us back to the basics of the collection, analysis and reporting of our health data.

Madam Speaker, these are complex matters, and following last year’s work to provide assurances over data governance and protocols regarding the ACT Health public health services quarterly performance report, I have been advised that there is more work to be done. That is why I have asked for this system-wide review.

I want to reiterate that ACT Health has been proactive in recognising these issues and acting upon them immediately. ACT Health needs time, though, to ensure that its data management and quality assurance processes are robust and accurate. The ACT government has been open with the community that ACT Health management and reporting processes need improvement. These issues have been widely canvassed in the media, here in the Assembly and in budget estimates and annual report hearings on a number of occasions in the past.

The ACT government has acknowledged, as has my directorate, that improvements must be made, and actions have been taken to investigate the extent of the problems and to review ACT Health’s governance and protocols in relation to the management

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