Page 1192 - Week 04 - Wednesday, 4 May 2022

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This funding ensures we can increase services in the NICU to meet demand now and into the future. Between now and 2023-24, we will deliver additional intensive care costs and more than 20 extra staff to support these critical services. The new cots and additional doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and administration staff will see the ACT continue to deliver a high functioning NICU for Canberrans and the surrounding New South Wales region. This also means we can significantly reduce the number of babies transferred to other jurisdictions for care and by increasing our investment in the NICU, we can ensure one to one nurse-to-patient ratio is maintained and sustainable.

The ACT government also invested $50 million for the expansion of the Centenary Hospital for women and children that continues our work of upgrading our health infrastructure right across the Canberra Hospital. This investment includes a series of new builds and refurbishments of a number of areas of Centenary Hospital, including neonatology. I was fortunate to spend a bit of time the other day with some of the NICU team and to see the incredible work that they do every day. They are very passionate about the treatment and care they deliver for the ACT and the ACT government is really proud to support this excellent care.

And I was particularly interested recently to talk to some of them about the research that is conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit as well. And some really great contributions to knowledge about how to care for some of those most vulnerable babies. So thank you to everybody working in the NICU and the special care nursery.

DR PATERSON: Minister, how does this link with the broader expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for the question. The $50 million Centenary Hospital for Women and Children expansion is delivering more health infrastructure to the Canberra Hospital campus, dedicated to key maternity, paediatric, and neonatology services. This includes new builds and refurbishments across the Centenary Hospital and builds on the ACT government's almost $1.3 billion health infrastructure investment over the last decade.

There are a number of upgrades being delivered in neonatology that will refurbish these essential areas for both babies and families. In the special care nursery, we are undertaking refurbishments to create four new cots and two new parent rooming in spaces. There will also be a new family support zone for families whose babies are being cared for in the NICU. Further support services are also being improved to provide a neonatal, paediatric and adolescent nutrition service, a new parent lounge and dining and education facilities. More broadly, the Centenary Hospital expansion has already completed refurbishments in the paediatric high care ward and a new build of the key administration building, supporting the activities of Centenary.

Over 2022-23, further stages of the expansion program will be completed, including: a new build extending the Centenary Hospital that will deliver a new adolescent mental health unit and adolescent mental health day service; refurbishment of the maternity assessment unit; refurbishment of the antenatal ward and early pregnancy

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