Territory Stories

Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)



Parliamentary record : Part I debates (16 February 1989)


Debates for 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 5th Assembly 1987 - 1990




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Northern Territory Legislative Assembly

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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 16 February 1989 services to disabled personS was called in Tennant Creek on 21 December and the following agencies were represented: the Department of Health. the FORWAARD Centre. the Anyinginyi Congress. Julalikara and Julalikara Homemakers. Now I will move on to the section of the letter which deals with the current position: For the past 12 months. the Tennant Creek Hospital has provided respite care for a number of disabled persons. resulting in huge costs to the Department of Health. both in financial and human resource terms. The costs involved in hospital respite care days. not including days of acute medical care. are as follows. will delete the patients' names and just say patient A. B. C and so on. Patient A: 209 days at $285 a day - $59 565; patient B: 150 days at $285 a day - $42 750; patient C: 107 days at $285 per day - $30 495; patient D: 150 days - total cost $42 750; and patient E: 90 days at a total cost of $25 650. The total cost for these patients: $174 210. The human cost is much more important than the financial cost in terms of managing the department. (A) From the point of view of the hospital staff: nursing and other staff have been physically abused by some of the above persons who react violently to the hospital environment. Morale amongst the Tennant Creek nursing staff is low. Nursing staff are not trained to deal with disabled persons who are extremely demanding. Due to the time spent with these persons, they are often forced to deliver a standard of care to acute medical patients that is less than satisfactory. In order to control these patients. staff are forced to witness the blatant abuse of human rights which is occurring. (B) The rights of intellectually. behaviourally and physically disabled persons: people with disabilities receiving services have the same rights as other members of Australian society to receive those services in a manner which results in the least restriction of their rights and opportunities. Two of the above persons .. I will not mention their names. but the minister has the letter. are frequently shackled and tranquillised in an effort to control their behaviour in hospital. Given the appropriate resources, we believe both of these people could be managed in a manner resulting in less restriction of their rights and opportunities without the need for such inhumane measures. People with disabilities have the same rights as other members of society to realise their individual capacity for physical, social. emotional and intellectual development. We recognise the excellent role that the FORWAARD Centre plays in providing these services. However. due to the non-existence of respite and residential care in Tennant Creek. a number of these persons are forced to live in 5573

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