Page 3138 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017

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When we eventually see the quarterly reports for September, which will be some time in the never-never—we do not know when—I doubt whether we will see improved waiting times in the emergency department. This is more Labor spin. It is a claim without substance.

On 5 April there was a fire at the Canberra Hospital caused by a 45-year-old, poorly maintained electrical switchboard. I stated at the time:

A decade and a half of neglect and under-investment has resulted in the closure of much of the Canberra Hospital, putting Canberrans in danger.

At the time, I sought a copy of the AECOM report on health maintenance. The government has fought tooth and nail to stop me and the Canberra community obtaining a copy of the report. When I did receive a copy of the report it confirmed my claims of a decade and a half of neglect and was another example of the spin and secrecy of Ms Fitzharris and this government.

Last Thursday we discovered that the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children has flammable cladding on part of its exterior. When questioned on ABC Radio, the Minister for Health said:

I don’t know the time frame right now—

that is, in relation to when the cladding will come off—

but I can tell you it’s likely to be a couple of months.

We have subsequently heard from the minister in this place that it would probably take a couple of months for them to decide what to do and that we might see progress on this before the end of this calendar year. If I were the health minister, I would be ordering that the flammable cladding be taken off and replacement cladding put on as soon as possible. There may have to be some interim patch-up job, but, given the state of the hospital, given the reports about cladding and given the instructions in the building code, I believe it is negligent for the government not to do this. Yet again we saw a health minister who was not across her brief.

The implementation of the 2012 government commitment on bariatric surgery is now three years overdue. It was to be implemented in 2014, but it was delayed due to a series of difficulties, including “difficulty accessing a provider and appropriately credentialed workforce to undertake the work and the purchase of equipment and resources necessary to support bariatric surgery at Canberra Hospital”. One of Ms Fitzharris’s first jobs as Assistant Minister for Health was to implement this commitment. We have patients self-funding operations costing between $15,000 and $20,000 because Ms Fitzharris cannot deliver on this government’s commitments.

On 29 July the ACT conference passed a motion calling on the Labor caucus to consider pill testing for the Spilt Milk festival on 25 November. I doubt that this will

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