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Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Page: 3602

Mr Price asked the Minister for Health and Ageing, in writing, on 18 March 2009:

(1)   Does she know that the Blacktown Local Government Area (LGA) contains more people than Darwin, Hobart and Canberra, is the third largest LGA in Australia and is served by Mt Druitt and Blacktown hospitals which are administered as one unit.

(2)   Can she confirm that Blacktown Mount-Druitt Hospital (BMDH), because of the high prevailing burden of multiple chronic diseases, has the busiest emergency department in terms of presentations than any other hospital in New South Wales (NSW) including John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Royal North Shore Hospital.

(3)   Have BMDH activity levels increased to the point where in early 2007 they had already reached the levels forecast for 2011.

(4)   In NSW, does the Blacktown LGA have the: (a) most early pre-mature deaths; (b) most potentially avoidable deaths; (c) highest cardiac mortality burden and rate; (d) highest number of cigarette related admissions; and (e) highest number of alcohol related admissions.

Ms Roxon (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)   Yes. Based on the latest Local Government Area (LGA) population figures available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website (Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2007 - Catalogue Number 3235.0), the Blacktown LGA (285,564) contains more people than the Darwin LGA (72,859) and the Hobart LGA (49,593). However, Canberra is not part of an LGA, but is included in the ‘Unincorporated ACT’ LGA region reported by the ABS. Blacktown does not contain more people than the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) region (339,761), and is the fourth largest LGA region behind Brisbane (1,006,976), Gold Coast (524,654) and the ACT (339,761) Queries regarding the administration of the Mt Druitt and Blacktown hospitals would be more appropriately directed to New South Wales (NSW) Health.

(2)   Queries regarding the service volumes and reasons for presentation at emergency departments for Blacktown Mount-Druitt Hospital (BMDH) or any other NSW public hospital are more appropriately directed to NSW Health.

(3)   Queries related to hospital forecast activity for BMDH are more appropriately directed to NSW Health.

(4)   Queries regarding Blacktown LGA trends are best directed to the ABS.