Page 1742 - Week 06 - Thursday, 30 July 2020

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MR HANSON: Minister, why is the performance of gynaecological surgery much worse than in peer hospitals?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Again, I will take the detail of the question on notice and come back to Mr Hanson in relation to gynaecological surgery in particular. What I would say, in terms of the ACT’s overall performance in elective surgery, is that we have seen a significant improvement in the number of elective surgeries that have been performed in the ACT over the last 10 years. As members would be aware, we were on track this year to perform a record 14,250 elective surgeries, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and last year we performed more than 14,000 elective surgeries, which compares with 9,830 in 2009-10. We saw significant improvements in “seen on time” in 2018-19 compared to 2009-10 for category 1 and particularly for category 2. Seventy-one per cent of category 2 were seen on time in 2018-19, compared to 44 per cent in 2009-10. So I would argue that Mr Stanhope’s argument does not stack up in relation to elective surgery.

MRS DUNNE: Minister, to what extent are the poor and disadvantaged of Canberra, who are on waiting lists for extensive periods of time, the price that we have to pay for Labor’s mismanagement of the health system?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I think I have just outlined that Labor has not been mismanaging the health system.

Health—elective surgery

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health. Recently you announced a $30 million injection into the health system, in part around $20 million to catch up on the 2,200 or so planned elective surgeries that were suspended because of the COVID-19 health emergency. Was the appropriation which had been allocated to fund the planned surgeries rolled over to 2020-21? If not, what has happened to it?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: As I would expect members opposite would know, the budget process involves allocating new funding for 2020-21. We have seen significant activity in the health system in 2019-20—

Mrs Dunne: A point of order, Madam Speaker. The question that Mrs Jones asked was not about the 2020-21 budget but about whether the appropriation made in 2019-20 was rolled over.

MADAM SPEAKER: As I understand it was also about where is the appropriation sitting.

Mrs Dunne: If not, where is it?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I do not believe that was case, but I will take the question on notice.

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