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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 22 February 2018) . . Page.. 616 ..

will be available in the ACT, and ACT Health will be seeking highly talented health staff to help meet the health needs of our community.

Attracting high calibre staff takes planning. ACT Health are developing a broader approach that not only targets individuals but also shares the benefits of living in our attractive city which offers a wonderful lifestyle for families and careers for professionals who, of course, can take full advantage of our unique higher education and research sector here in the ACT. This approach will help us to fill some existing skills gaps, particularly in some surgical specialties and psychiatry to name a few. We will build momentum as the workforce needs for new health facilities and models of care are developed.

MS CODY: Minister, who is the strategy likely to target?

MS FITZHARRIS: The strategy will likely target some key priority areas in the first instance, particularly those where ACT Health have identified a workforce need. There will also be a strong focus on management and leadership training opportunities as well as practitioners who have sophisticated skills and expertise, including surgeons, especially ear, nose and throat specialists, anaesthetists and psychiatrists, general physicians, emergency medicine specialists, nursing staff and allied health professions. All those will be vital as we build these new services.

Recruitment has commenced as part of the planning for the opening of the new University of Canberra hospital. This will continue as the hospital ramps up to full capacity with the broader workforce attraction strategy.

The new University of Canberra hospital training partnership with the University of Canberra offers an incredible pipeline of professionals, including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and nutritionists. This strategy will target these graduates to make sure they choose Canberra as the place where they want to start their career.

There is also an opportunity to build on the partnerships we have in health with our significant research and education institutions: the ANU, the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University, as well as the Canberra Institute of Technology. As we know, in health professional connections to education, research and ongoing professional training are a key part of career development.

MR PETTERSSON: Minister, how will this improve delivery of health services in the ACT?

MS FITZHARRIS: This work will continue to support the ACT to be in a competitive and strong position for growing and attracting a high-performing health workforce. Addressing current gaps in services through this more strategic approach will be a foundation for planning for our significant expansion of surgical procedures in the new SPIRE centre. It will help us deliver surgery within recommended treatment time frames. It will help us continue to improve our emergency department waiting times, which are now 30 per cent better than they were a couple of years ago. It will help us respond to the growing number of births in the ACT and support young

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