Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 1 August 2017) . . Page.. 2263 ..
other drug services is two years overdue. Minister, how many other commitments in the Health portfolio has the government promised but as yet failed to deliver?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Ms Lee for the question. I reject some of the assumptions she has made in her question. I certainly explained in public and recently in the last question I received in the chamber about the specific delay to some of those. Each of those has been explained.
In terms of commitments that this government has made to health, I note that in the most recent budget we have started funding many of the major commitments that we took to the Canberra community last year that they re-elected this government for. So the commitments that we took to last year’s election are being funded and are being delivered. Of course, all of the three examples that you gave: the opioid replacement therapy guidelines, the alcohol and drug strategy and the bariatric surgery will be implemented.
MS LEE: Minister, how many other reviews and studies in the health portfolio are years overdue?
MS FITZHARRIS: The question is an interesting one. Certainly, I have had discussions with Health over the past few days and there are a number of strategies that were developed by Health. The fact that they had a lifespan does not mean that they are now out of date. Many health policies remain static. There is a lot of change at the national level in terms of health policies and guidelines. I have asked, in conjunction with Minister Rattenbury, as the Minister for Mental Health, for ACT Health to provide to us a fuller explanation of the range of policies that ACT Health is responsible for. I note that by the end of this year there are a number of accreditation-related policies that ACT Health is required to complete in order to receive accreditation at Canberra Hospital. I am advised that those will all be completed within the correct time frame, which is by the end of this calendar year.
MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what level of confidence can the Canberra community have in your ability to deliver commitments in a timely manner, given the long delays we have seen in the health portfolio?
MS FITZHARRIS: The community can have a great level of confidence in the ability of this government to deliver health services to the Canberra community. The community clearly had confidence in this government’s ability to deliver health services, given the result of last year’s election and given the number of people who access our services every day, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We have, in the past 12 months alone, opened a paediatric emergency department stream at Canberra Hospital. We have significantly upgraded the Canberra Hospital emergency department, which I note is one of the 10 busiest emergency departments in the whole country. Despite this, we are seeing—
Mr Doszpot: The longest waiting times?
MS FITZHARRIS: No. We are seeing our waiting times coming down. We have seen an expansion in the services available at Canberra Hospital, including the very