Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001

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Parliamentary Record 28


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 31 May 2001 To enable comparisons with the previous years allocations, the budget is also detailed in the existing activity structure. As shown in the budget papers at this time last year, a total of $432m was allocated for Northern Territory Health Services in the 2000-01 budget. During the year this amount has been increased by a further $3.9m predominantly relating to funding carried forward from the previous financial year and to specific purpose and externally funded items. In 2001-02, $447m has been allocated. I will now outline the new initiatives to be undertaken by Territory Health Services in 2001-02. Acute Care Activity: a total of $80 000 has been provided in 2001-02 and future years for the establishment of the Northern Territory Organ and Tissue Donor Agency. Members may recall that earlier this year the new Australian Organ Donor Register was launched. The register provides a single means by which intending donors can pledge their intent to donate organs and tissue after death. The funding will assist to increase the number of Territorians registered as organ donors. Expected outcomes of this new service include: improved quality and quantity of life for an increasing number of Northern Territory patients, particularly renal patients; maximised value of health funding, for example renal transplantation has the potential to reduce the annual patient costs from $100 000 to $15 000 per annum; effective organ procurement services at Alice Springs and Royal Darwin Hospitals; support for organ donor families; and community education. Funding for the establishment of an NT Organ and Tissue Donor Agency is expected to comprise a part-time medical director as the overall co-ordinator and two part-time coordinators based in Darwin and Alice as well as operational monies. This will link into the $6.2m national organ donation register to be administered by the non-govemment organisation, Australians Donate. Assistance will be forthcoming in the areas of marketing, communications, training, education and support of potential donors, recipients and professional staff. There has been much said by the opposition in regard to renal failure here in the Territory - falsely claiming that this government does nothing. I have been on the public record saying that there are three options for end-stage renal patients. The first is dialysis, the second is to undergo transplant and the third is, unfortunately, death. The Territory has gone ahead in leaps and bounds in recent years with more and more patients accessing transplants. I believe this donor agency initiative will allow even greater numbers to have the procedure as we will be tapping into a national register. Another important initiative announced by the government was the introduction of cardiac catheterisation right here in Darwin which now means patients will not have to travel down south for the procedure. I am pleased to announce as part of next years budget, increased cardiac rehabilitation services will be provided with an additional $145 000. Heart disease and stroke are Australias biggest killers accounting for over 40% of all deaths. The Northern Territory has the highest rate of heart attacks, both fatal and non-fatal, in Australia. Furthermore, the road to decline and death from cardiovascular disease has stalled in the Territory compared to the rest of Australia. It has been conclusively demonstrated that cardiac rehabilitation programs benefit the community in a whole range of areas including significant reductions in morbidity and mortality. Moreover, decreased re-admissions and more effective use of health services have also been demonstrated. Cardiac rehabilitation provides an excellent platform for facilitating secondary prevention and patient self-management. This new initiative is a collaborative approach between Territory Health Services and non-govemment organisations and various support groups. Nominated organisations have agreed to participate in this initiative and will provide the core membership for the Rehabilitation Advisory Committee which will be responsible for oversighting the progress of this new initiative. Public Health Activity. A total of $lm has been provided to relocate the Darwin Dental Clinic in Mitchell Street to a more suitable location for clients and for the provision of a dental service that meets appropriate occupational health and safety and infection control standards. The existing structure in which the Darwin Dental Clinic currently resides was constructed in 1968. This building no longer meets current standards due to both structural and equipment issues. As over the half of the dental clinics clients are northern suburbs residents, the new site will be in the Casuarina retail precinct and we will be calling for expressions of interest in Saturdays paper. The additional funding will cover fit out of a new clinic including new capital equipment, data and communications and relocation costs. The funding for the relocation of the Darwin Dental Clinic is included in the Community Services output group. 7789