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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2014 Week 13 Hansard (Tuesday, 25 November 2014) . . Page.. 3982 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister, what consultations has ACT Health had with users of the hydrotherapy pool, and what are the names of any organisations consulted?

MS GALLAGHER: I understand where the concern arose. There was not a consultation process about shutting the pool because we are not shutting the pool imminently, which is the language that was used. There was a healthcare consumers forum meeting about services that were to be offered at the new University of Canberra subacute hospital. It was after that meeting, and some misunderstanding at that meeting—there was a range of groups represented there—where people thought the message was that the pool was for imminent closure. When that feedback was given to me and to Health, and it came in pretty thick and fast after the Arthritis ACT mail-out to their members, we responded very quickly. A statement was issued; I have written to everybody. I have spoken to healthcare consumers about the meeting; they were concerned that it was a take-home message from there as well.

There is an enormous amount of consultation happening with organisations about the service level offering at the new hospital. That will continue. So there will be consultation around the new pool. At some point the old pool will shut. It is old. We shut it for eight months in 2009 and we were able to facilitate the appropriate level of service for people in a public way by using a private facility.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Hanson.

MR HANSON: Minister, on what date do you anticipate that the new hydrotherapy pool will be opened at the new hospital?

MS GALLAGHER: It will open when the University of Canberra public hospital opens.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what advantages will accrue to patients from the co-location of this hydrotherapy pool at the new subacute hospital at the University of Canberra, in my electorate of Ginninderra?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. There is improvement certainly in relation to infrastructure. The pool at Canberra Hospital is ageing. It needed a lot of repairs in 2009. The appropriate clinical programs that will be offered will align at the new UC public hospital, where patients will have first-rate access to infrastructure, clinicians and, importantly, the connections with the university. We have never had a specialised rehabilitation and subacute facility. We have had the services, but this will certainly improve it and further strengthen our relationship with the University of Canberra.

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