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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 3 Hansard (21 March) . .

Page.. 829..


MISS C BURCH: Minister, could this project be delivered on time if it were not for stage 2 of light rail?

MS FITZHARRIS: Both projects will be delivered.

Canberra Hospital—infrastructure

MISS C BURCH: My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Minister, on delays to development of the SPIRE centre, the head of the ACT AMA, Dr Stephen Robson, said:

I think at the moment with all the information we have about demand it is critical there are as few delays as possible ...

I've said many, many times that Canberra Hospital is a creaking bit of ancient infrastructure.

Dr Robson went on to say:

Canberra is a growing place and demand for health services is not going to get any better and the population is not getting any healthier.

All the delays just make things worse.

Minister, why has the government delayed upgrading our hospital infrastructure to cater for growing demand?

MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Miss Burch for the question. The government continues to invest in hospital infrastructure. Indeed we very much look forward to the opening of the University of Canberra hospital in the middle of this year. That will certainly take the pressure off Canberra Hospital. As I have just outlined in my previous answer to Ms Cheyne's question, we have invested $2.6 million in upgrading maternity facilities at Calvary hospital. We will build the SPIRE centre. We will open the University of Canberra hospital. We will expand the Centenary hospital. We are building the Gungahlin walk-in centre. We will build two further walk-in centres. Earlier this year we opened a completely refreshed acute aged-care ward at the Canberra Hospital. We have work underway to significantly upgrade the oncology ward at the Canberra Hospital. This government will continue to invest in expanding, upgrading and building new health infrastructure right across the territory, unlike those opposite.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, how long does the ACT government intend to keep using the ancient infrastructure at the Canberra Hospital?

MS FITZHARRIS: I invite members to visit the Canberra Hospital and see, for example, the brand new acute aged-care ward, the new centenary hospital, the adult mental health unit and the updated emergency department. I know some of them were also invited to attend the University of Canberra hospital when that building was handed over to ACT Health earlier this year.


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