Page 2883 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 11 October 2022

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procedures. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are up to twice as likely as non-Indigenous women to have cardiovascular diseases and to die from coronary heart disease or stroke.

The ACT government continues to ensure that our health services are providing the right care at the right time and in the right place for acute care and to support secondary prevention activities. The government is also making crucial investments in research and programs to support better outcomes for our community.

In the area of acute diagnosis and treatment, the ACT generally has more favourable rates of heart-related hospital admissions compared to national admissions, at 0.37 per cent versus 0.42 per cent nationally, and coronary heart disease mortality, at 0.05 per cent versus 0.06 per cent nationally.

The government has invested $620,000 through the 2021-22 budget to continue our partnership with the Stroke Foundation that has helped to increase ACT residents’ awareness of the signs of stroke. On 8 June this year, at a celebration for the Stroke Foundation’s 25th anniversary, the CEO, Sharon McGowan, stated that the ACT had led the nation on supporting stroke and recovery.

In the ACT Health Services Plan 2022-2030, we continue to recognise the need to enhance cardiology diagnostic services, with a view to prevention and long-term health, and ambulatory and community-based heart failure services to reduce demand on the hospital system and provide care closer to home that is better for consumers.

The ACT government has prioritised cardiovascular disease in its approach to strategic investment for research. In 2020 $163,000 was provided to the University of Canberra to partner with Canberra Health Services and Calvary Public Hospital to investigate the effectiveness of a six-week integrated traditional exercise-based cardiac rehabilitation program.

The government also invests $2 million a year in the Health Promotion Grants Program, which offers grants to community-based organisations to improve the health of Canberrans and minimise the risk of people developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Providing information to the ACT community on critical health matters is important. One of the many ways we do this is through the biennial ACT Chief Health Officer report. Expanded reporting on the impacts of cardiovascular disease in the ACT will be considered as part of the broader process currently underway to identify future health topics for the ACT Chief Health Officer’s report, which is being revitalised and brought online so that it can be updated more regularly.

Cardiovascular diseases for women are a significant risk and contributor to the burden of disease in the ACT. Nationally coordinated actions to enhance awareness, early detection and treatment in primary care, data collection and research on vulnerable populations are all essential. I again thank Dr Paterson for bringing this important topic to the attention of the Assembly and support the motion.

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