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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 11 Hansard (Thursday, 25 October 2018) . . Page.. 4281 ..

Assembly. I hope you have had an informative morning with the crew from the education unit here at the Assembly.

Questions without notice

Canberra Hospital—emergency waiting times

MRS DUNNE: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, yesterday you were asked a question about your statement on 15 August 2018 in this place, as recorded in Hansard, where you said that “emergency department waiting times are coming down.” For the information of members, I seek leave to table page 2673 of Hansard of 15 August 2017.

Leave granted.

MRS DUNNE: I table the following paper:

Hansard, page 2673, 15 August 2017.

The minister tells Mr Coe:

Indeed Canberra Hospital emergency department waiting times are coming down. I am regularly briefed by Canberra Hospital and by ACT Health on the performance of the emergency department. There is internal information directly sourced from the emergency department on a daily basis, and I am pleased to say the broad trend is that emergency department waiting times are coming down.

Minister, why did you say in this place on 15 August that emergency department times were coming down when in fact they were going up?

MS FITZHARRIS: Quite simply, as I indicated yesterday, six weeks into the 2017-18 financial year I looked at the trends for both key emergency department indicators over the previous two years. In 2015-16, the percentage of patients seen on time was 59 per cent. In 2016-17, six weeks before I made that statement, they were 63 per cent. They had gone up from 59 per cent to 63 per cent. Similarly, for the ED length of stay for four hours or less, the rate in 2015-16 was 66 per cent. In 2016-17, it was 73 per cent.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, when did you first become aware that emergency department waiting times in the last financial year were in fact going down, not going up?

MS FITZHARRIS: I think over the course of the year it did become apparent that those numbers were not—

Mr Hanson: Why didn’t you come in here and say that? Why didn’t you correct the record?

MS FITZHARRIS: Because at the time, when I made the statement in August, I was basing it on the results in the previous two financial years. I refer members to my

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