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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2409 ..

We have also increased the funding for the seniors card program. This is one way we honour the older members of the community and it helps ease their cost of living. We place on record our thanks to the many businesses who participate in the scheme.

This year’s budget also continues our support for the flexible bus service. This is a practical and very vital service helping to link our older Canberrans and those with mobility impairments in our city. It provides a door-to-door service to help those who use it get around Canberra, whether it is to medical appointments, to the shops or to their local community group.

This government wants to ensure that our senior Canberrans remain involved and connected, and this is shown in this year’s budget.

MS CHEYNE: Minister, how will these measures support senior Canberrans access the health system?

MR RAMSAY: I thank Ms Cheyne for the supplementary question. I note that the government’s work for seniors extends across many portfolios and that the government’s budget shows our priorities. I am proud of this government’s massive investment in the public health system and I want to place on record my deep appreciation to the former minister for health, Ms Fitzharris, for all of her work in this portfolio. She has made such a positive impact on the lives of Canberrans through this work and I am pleased to see the energy and the impact living on through Ms Stephen-Smith in the portfolio now.

The budget contains a large investment in the health system, which will directly benefit older Canberrans. There is an investment in acute services at the Canberra Hospital, which includes an increase in aged care beds, helping to improve older Canberrans’ time in the hospital. There is a significant expansion in palliative care to help those in their final days and weeks. This includes an expansion of Clare Holland House to continue to provide high quality care with dignity and respect for more Canberrans at the end of their lives.

The expansion will deliver more inpatient beds as well as improved administration and clinical support services. We are also expanding palliative care services across Canberra’s aged care facilities to integrate specialist services into their practice. This is in addition to the investments in services that many older Canberrans use such as strengthening rheumatology services, two new walk-in centres and the expansion to urology services at Calvary Public Hospital.

This government is continuing to invest in health services for seniors across the city. It is in our DNA to provide high quality health. This budget shows that we are not only investing in this but also ensuring that it serves our older Canberrans.

Mr Barr: I believe that all questions that can be asked have been asked, Madam Speaker. So I ask that all further questions be placed on the notice paper.

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