Deputy Opposition Leader and Opposition Health spokesperson Leanne Castley will today move a motion against the ACT Health Minister, Rachel Stephen-Smith.
It calls on her to fulfil her undertaking to fix Emergency Department wait times by having 70 per cent of patients seen within clinically acceptable times.
Ms Castley said that in 2021 the Health Minister undertook to achieve this target within nine
months, but three years down the track ACT emergency department wait times are still
among, if not the worst in the country.
“Every year we hear new excuses from the Health Minister about what she is doing to fix this
crisis,” Ms Castley said.
“After a decade below the national average and next to no improvement, Canberrans are tired
of excuses and spin from this government.”
Figures from the Productivity Commission’s recent Report on Government Services (ROGS)
show that in 2022-23:
•only 51% of ED patients were treated within clinically recommended wait times, well
under the national average of 65%
•only 47.9% of patients stayed in ED for 4 hours or less, compared to a national average
•the ACT was the worst jurisdiction for treating indigenous people within recommended
ED wait times and on time spent in ED.
•the ACT has the lowest ratio of GPs to 100,000 people of any major Australian city,
putting even more pressure on our emergency departments.
Ms Castley said the Health Minister had in the last three years conspicuously failed to
achieve her goal of 70 per cent of ED patients seen within clinically acceptable times and
only had nine months before the next election to do so.
“One reason for this is that the Labor-Greens government is well behind delivering promised
“Another reason is that under Labor and the Greens it has become harder and more expensive
for Canberrans to access GP services.
“Every year the Labor-Greens government has managed the health system, it has performed
worse than the national average.”
Ms Castley said the ROGS data also showed elective surgery waiting times had ballooned –
with 30% of patients in public hospitals not admitted within clinically recommended times,
up from 24.6% in 2021-22 and 15% in 2020-21.