Page 1946 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 27 June 2023

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Budget 2023-2024—health workforce

MR PETTERSSON: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you please outline how the 2023-24 budget delivers on the government’s commitment to significantly increase the number of health professionals in Canberra’s public health services?

MADAM SPEAKER: Again, Ms Stephen-Smith, to what is in the public domain.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I thank Mr Pettersson for the question and for his ongoing commitment to public health services and the dedicated workforce that delivers them.

As announced this week, this budget builds on our enviable record in investment supporting our health workforce this term of government. As you know, we committed before the last election to deliver an additional 400 frontline healthcare workers this term of government as part of our comprehensive health plan; something those opposite did not have then and certainly do not have now. We delivered on that commitment two years ahead of schedule. This budget will build on that success, delivering 80 more doctors, nurses and allied health professionals in 2023-24; meaning that since the 2021 budget, more than 570 new health professional positions will have been created by the end of 2023-24.

We are continuing to invest in long-term planning for our health workforce, alongside increased training and support, as well as enhanced career pathways with a key focus on improving the safety and wellbeing of health workers. By investing in our health workforce conditions, our hospitals and our healthcare facilities, we are supporting working conditions and environments that will attract health professionals to Canberra and that will retain our current workforce.

Last Tuesday, the Chief Minister and I were joined by one of our dedicated junior medical officers, Dr Sheraz Majoka, as we discussed a substantial packet of investments and our commitment to deliver an enhanced experience for these wonderful professionals. It was heartening not just to hear the AMA’s support but also to hear from Dr Majoka about his experience and how the $8.57 million investment will make a real difference to him, his colleagues and, ultimately, to Canberrans. This investment is part of a $28 million workforce package, because on this side of the chamber, we know that we also need to invest in the health workforce, their aspirations and their wellbeing.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, can you please outline how these investments ensure the ACT government is delivering high quality health care for the Canberra community?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary and his focus on our track record of substantial investments across our hospital and health system.

Of course, last week I also had the pleasure of spending time with the paediatric team at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children as I announced a $43.6 million package of public hospital investment in the 2023-24 budget. This package includes

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