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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 11 Hansard (Tuesday, 24 September 2019) . . Page.. 3779 ..

ANU has also made a commitment, which was announced in relation to the SPIRE project, to a major new investment on the Canberra Hospital site to again reinvigorate their education and training. Internally within ANU, the vice-chancellor has made a significant commitment to the health and medical elements of the ANU’s program.

Of course I have been meeting regularly with the head of the medical school, Imogen Mitchell, who is also the chair of the clinical leadership forum that was established in response to the findings of the culture review about the need to improve clinical engagement, and I am looking forward to continuing to engage with that group of senior clinicians from across all different disciplines around how we continue to improve the opportunities for education in health and in medicine across the ACT.

Canberra Hospital—hydrotherapy pool

MRS JONES: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, what is your present plan for the future of the hydrotherapy pool user agreement with Arthritis ACT beyond its expiry on 30 September this year?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Jones for the question and her ongoing interest in this matter. I spoke to the CEO of Arthritis ACT yesterday and I understand that that agreement has already been extended until the end of October. I advised her and the ACT Health Directorate yesterday that that agreement should be extended to the end of November.

We have received some information from Arthritis ACT in relation to alternative options for pool availability for their groups and classes across the south of Canberra. That detail is just being worked through between the Health Directorate and Arthritis ACT. I expect to be briefed on that, probably when I return from leave in a few weeks. I have asked that that agreement in relation to the use of the Canberra Hospital pool be extended so that we have time to work through all of those issues that have been identified by Arthritis ACT and come to agreement.

MRS JONES: Minister, has the government set a new date for the closure of the hydrotherapy pool at the Canberra Hospital? If so, what is that date?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mrs Jones for the supplementary. As I have repeatedly said, we have not set a date. We are committed to the closure of the Canberra Hospital pool; it is a safety issue. But we are also committed to ensuring that alternative options are identified for the current users of the Canberra Hospital pool and the Arthritis ACT groups that are using that pool. That is the process that we are currently going through with Arthritis Act. Once we have reached a resolution on that then we will announce the closure date for the pool.

MS LAWDER: Minister, has the government identified other suitable locations that can offer hydrotherapy services to users on the south side of Canberra when the Canberra Hospital facility is closed? If yes, what are they? If no, why not?

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