Territory Stories

Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995



Debates Day 1 - Tuesday 23 May 1995

Other title

Parliamentary Record 11


Debates for 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 7th Assembly 1994 - 1997




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Tuesday 23 May 1995 The incidence of renal failure is of real concern to this government. In recognition of this, an additional $2.36m has been allocated to provide an expanded and comprehensive renal service across the Territory. The funds will be used to operate hospital and community-based renal facilities in Alice Springs and Darwin, and to develop treatment programs that are culturally appropriate, cost-effective and aimed at achieving optimal outcomes for patients. Aboriginal people represent the vast majority of Territorians requiring dialysis. Members may not be aware that it costs $50 000 to dialyse one client per annum. The latest Menzies School of Health Research projections suggest that the net increase in patients could now be as high as 19 per year. Hospital services expenditure across the Northern Territorys 5 public hospitals will total $140.6m this year, representing some 44.5% of the budget. This increase includes $850 000 for Royal Darwin Hospital to continue initiatives designed to provide additional day surgery and to establish low-dependency facilities. Katherine Hospital will receive an additional $600 000 in the budget to extend existing hospital services. As part of our research commitment, $ 1.854m has been allocated to the Menzies School of Health Research on the Royal Darwin Hospital Campus. In addition to the recurrent funding, the department also provides free laboratory and office space and pathology services. An $ 11.075m contract was awarded recently for the jointly-funded construction of a new building to house the Menzies School of Health Research. The Territory government has provided $6m for this project and, together with recurrent funding, the allocation will assist the schools excellent work in research on tropical diseases and Aboriginal health issues. This year, $2m will be spent on a major upgrade of the Department of Health and Community Services information systems. The upgrade will occur over 4 years. The improvement in information systems will result in greatly improved data management, supporting the delivery of services across the Territory. For the first time, this program will target systems which will have a direct benefit in improved management of health outcomes. As an example, a chronic disease register will be established under this program to ensure regular reviews and improved management of infectious diseases. A pap smear registration database will also be established. This initiative will increase detection and markedly improve prevention of cervical cancer in Territory women. An immunisation register will compile accurate data on immunisations in the Territory, thus improving an already highly successful child immunisation strategy. Implementation of the mental health strategy 5-year plan was commenced in July 1994. For 1995-96, $790 000 has been allocated for the continued implementation of this plan, with a focus on community-based mental health services and improved quality of care. To advance the early detection of breast cancer, the Territory government has signed a further agreement with the Commonwealth to participate in a national program until June 1999. The allocation for this project in 1995-96 is $ 1.055m. Breast cancer screening commenced in Darwin last November, and it is expected that 1400 women will have been screened by the end of next month. In 1995-96, education campaigns will be conducted to increase the participation of Aboriginal women and women from non-English-speaking backgrounds. 3537