Page 1741 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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companies and to many other fields as well. We will continue to work with all the organisations within Canberra to make sure that workers are safe within their workplace.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, are you satisfied that construction employers and employees have an understanding of their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act to maintain a COVID-safe workplace and are you satisfied that this is being done?

MS ORR: I am satisfied that everyone is doing everything they can in what is a very rapidly moving and fast developing situation. We will continue to work with all businesses across Canberra to adapt to and implement measures as required.

Hospitals—waiting times

MR HANSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, I refer to an analysis performed by former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and Dr Khalid Ahmed that was published on the University of Canberra policy space website. This analysis found that, for orthopaedic surgery, the median wait time in the ACT was 55 per cent longer than the average in peer hospitals across Australia. In relation to gynaecological surgery, the ACT’s performance was much worse than its peer group of public hospitals. Minister, why is the median wait time for orthopaedic surgery in the ACT 55 per cent longer than in peer hospitals across Australia?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Hanson for his rather predictable question. Of course, comparisons between jurisdictions on wait times vary between different craft groups all over the place. The ACT performs significantly better than other jurisdictions in cardiothoracic surgery. We perform better than most other jurisdictions in vascular surgery and neurosurgery, and indeed in urological. Mr Stanhope can cherry-pick the AIHW data any way that he likes, but I have been surprised that he—

Mr Hanson: A point of order on relevance. My question was about orthopaedic surgery, not any other form of surgery. Could the minister explain why we are suffering from median wait times that are 55 per cent longer for orthopaedic surgery, not for all other forms of surgery?

MADAM SPEAKER: You interjected after about 40 seconds. The minister, I think, is getting to the point. She is being relevant to the question on the data and median wait times.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I will take the question on notice in relation to the particular detail about why orthopaedic surgery is one of the ones where the ACT jurisdiction is not performing as well as in others. Of course, there are a range of areas where the ACT jurisdiction is performing better than other jurisdictions. Again, I was surprised that Mr Stanhope chose elective surgery, because when we look at the overall performance in relation to the time period that he chose, with respect to the average change in elective surgery from 2014-15 to 2018-19, there is a significantly higher number of admissions in the ACT than the national average. Growth in elective surgery has been absolutely significant and a vast improvement on 2009-10.

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