Page 4658 - Week 12 - Thursday, 1 November 2018

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MRS DUNNE: Minister, does the budget for offsite CT scanning, analysis and reporting services for 2019 anticipate similar levels of unplanned leave as those we experienced in 2018?

MS FITZHARRIS: I do not believe so because, as has been discussed in this place, there have been some staff vacancies, a number of which have been filled. But I know that it is the priority of Canberra Health Services to make sure that patients who need access to imaging receive it. It would be remiss of Canberra Health Services not to have a backup plan for unplanned leave to make sure that patients can get access to the imaging that they need.

But with Mrs Dunne’s questions on medical imagining, I will update the Assembly on some of the quite extraordinary improvements in the medical imaging department in recent years. For example, there is currently no waitlist for children to have MRI scans under a general anaesthetic, or for breast imaging. The findings of the 2017 health round table, used by hospitals around the country, which mapped Canberra Hospital’s median wait time performance against 19 other public hospitals, showed significant improvements across the board and that Canberra Hospital is a leading hospital in this area.

For example, Canberra Hospital’s median performance against these other hospitals in patient wait times was: 15.5 hours for an MRI compared to 26.2 hours; for a CT, 8.2 hours versus 11.2 hours; and for an X-ray, 3.7 hours versus 5.6 hours. Canberra Hospital’s performance against these other hospitals for emergency department requests was: for an MRI, 3.1 hours versus 24.8 hours; for a CT scan, one hour versus 2.5 hours; and for an X-ray, half an hour compared to 1½ hours.

I expect Canberra health services to continue to improve performance in medical imaging so that patients in the ACT and around the region can continue to access timely diagnostics and medical imaging. I will insist that they have a plan in the event of unplanned leave, as any good health service would. (Time expired.)

MISS C BURCH: Minister, why was this contract not loaded onto the contracts register, and what have you done to satisfy yourself that other contracts have not also been left off the register?

MS FITZHARRIS: It is very clear to ACT Health and to Canberra Health Services that this should be done. I understand that it was an oversight at the time. That has been corrected.

Canberra Hospital—pharmacy service

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, I refer to your answer to Mr Parton’s question yesterday about churn in the Canberra Hospital pharmacy, with 32 per cent of staff having left between 1 January 2017 and 30 June 2018. You acknowledged in your answer that the level of turnover is high and, in your words, “not optimal”. Minister, why has there been such a high turnover of staff at the Canberra Hospital pharmacy department since January 2017?

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