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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3093 ..

Mrs Dunne: My question was: why were patients having trouble accessing inpatient beds out of the emergency department, not: what sorts of information processes are in place to discourage people from going to emergency. It was about people already there.

MADAM SPEAKER: Thank you. Minister, in the time left, can you be relevant to the question?

MS FITZHARRIS: Thank you Madam Speaker. Particularly over the winter period there are occasions when it can be difficult to access an inpatient bed partly because of the very complex flow of patients throughout the hospital. As I indicated last week, we have enacted further changes within the emergency department and within the hospital.

One of those over the weekend was to open the discharge lounge. Health have reported to me that they have started to see some small improvements over the course of the weekend. But what I can reassure all members is that staff at Canberra Hospital, and particularly in the emergency department and throughout the wards, are working extremely hard.

Our doctors, our nurses, our wardspeople and all the staff that go to make up a functioning, complex hospital like the Canberra Hospital are working very hard over this period when we do see increases in presentations, people with chronic conditions experiencing flu-like symptoms, which can exacerbate their chronic conditions. We are working hard to make sure that people get the health care they need at Canberra Hospital.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, how many patients have been recorded as being located in corridors at the hospital so far this August?

MS FITZHARRIS: I believe I took a similar question on notice last week. A response to that is in train and will be provided through the normal course of Assembly business.

MS LEE: Minister, what is the capacity of the emergency department, and how many times a year did the modelling suggest that capacity at the new ED would be exceeded?

MS FITZHARRIS: I will take the specifics of the question on notice. It is a complex question, because the capacity in the emergency department of course depends on the presentations that come to the Canberra Hospital—or any emergency department—at any time of the day.


MADAM SPEAKER: I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of Gold Creek Probus Club. Welcome to your Assembly.

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