Normally we try to shield you dear readers from the poo-flinging of our political class and focus on things that have concrete meaning.
But the wierd permutations of this story are worth having a look at.
It started out with the Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson drawing a long bow to take advise offered to the Chief Minister and turn it into a claim of misleading the public on election promises.
Information obtained by the Canberra Liberals shows Katy Gallagher’s one and only election commitment to build another walk in centre flies in the face of Health Directorate advice that the centres would make Emergency Department performance worse. ACT Shadow Health Minister Jeremy Hanson said today a Freedom of Information request shows the Health Directorate warned that walk in centres would increase pressure on the already stretched Emergency Department.
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The issue here is that the Walk-In centre brings punters to the hospital precinct at which point professional opinion realises they should really be in the emergency department. This is not good for ED statistics, but overall is probably good for health outcomes, which is rather the point of the whole sodding exercise.
The Canberra Times took this and proclaimed “Liberals would ‘probably’ scrap walk-in clinic if elected”
When you have to put your probably in air quotes we’re a long way from a decision.
This then became a confirmed decision in the hand of Labor hacks (handsome, witty hacks no doubt):
— Victor Violante (@VictorViolante) July 12, 2012
Watching this informational train wreck unfold I went back to the Liberals to ask them what their actual policy was.
Of course I got a non answer:
The walk in centre at Canberra Hospital hasn’t achieved what Katy Gallagher said it would, which is reducing pressure on the emergency department. Jeremy agrees with Katy Gallagher that it shouldn’t be at the Hospital. Our health policy will be released well before the election. It will be evidence-based, and unlike Katy Gallagher, we’ll be truthful about its benefits.
The monkeys at the zoo really would be better behaved and possibly more enlightening.
UPDATE 12/07/12 15:46: Victor has been in touch to point out his tweet was based on Radio 2CC’s reporting.