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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 13 Hansard (Wednesday, 28 November 2018) . . Page.. 4927 ..

Calvary hospital and the Capital Health Network, and I look forward to providing the community with further updates on SPIRE in the coming weeks.

I remind those opposite that there is much more to ACT Health and Canberra Health Services than what they have so negatively sought to portray this year. An extraordinary amount has been achieved. For example, we opened UC hospital this year. Despite relentless negativity from the opposition that we have no interest in hospital infrastructure, this year we opened UC public hospital.

In July we opened the newly refurbished maternity ward at Calvary Public Hospital, offering an excellent option for mums-to-be to deliver their babies in the public health system. We opened the new ACT government-funded theatres at Calvary Public Hospital. We invested in an expansion of the ED at Calvary Public Hospital which will open next year. This year we also released the Chief Health Officer’s report, once again showing a range of improvements in the health of our community.

The opening of the UC hospital was a very important moment in public health service delivery in the ACT. UC hospital specialises in care for people recovering from surgery, illness or injury or experiencing mental illness. By being a teaching hospital it will also benefit Canberra students and help bolster the skills of Canberra’s future health workforce, particularly in nursing and allied health.

I will list some of the other achievements this year: we opened the new Gungahlin walk-in centre; we announced a site for a new walk-in centre in Weston Creek and progressed planning for a walk-in centre in the inner north; we announced, in partnership with the commonwealth and the Snow Foundation, a major expansion of Clare Holland House; we completed our system-wide data review; we funded meningococcal ACWY vaccinations for Canberra kids; we rolled out grants for more GPs to bulk-bill in Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and Molonglo; we funded an expansion of hospital in the home; and we signed a new MOU with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Union to develop a ratios framework that will support a strong and sustainable health workforce.

Madam Speaker, I table a list of even more health achievements throughout this year:

Selected ACT Health achievements in 2018.

I am so proud of this work, and I thank the staff who have gone above and beyond to deliver for our community. While those opposite prefer endless politics and negativity, I am out there with my colleagues talking to the community about the importance of public health care—in particular, free, accessible public health care—and talking always to our stakeholders about how we can improve our health system.

It was great to be out on the weekend in Gungahlin talking to locals, hearing how much they love the new walk-in centre. We receive constant positive feedback from the community about the service received in our public hospitals. I am proud of this, the many achievements and the unprecedented level of collaboration with our major partners in the health system—Calvary and the higher education institutions that train our workforce, notably the ANU and UC. Our system is set up for a positive future.

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