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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Tuesday, 9 February 2021) . . Page.. 314 ..


MS CLAY: Minister, when will the government announce the location for the new walk-in centre in west Belconnen, and will it include mental health and dental health?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Ms Clay for the supplementary question. We will be doing this feasibility work, and part of that will be determining the order in which the four new walk-in health centres will be delivered. As I just said, there will be work with the community as well as with clinicians and others, as part of our territory-wide health services planning, to determine which services will go into those centres. Belconnen is already served with a walk-in centre in Belconnen town centre and a community health centre in Belconnen. The services in Belconnen have recently been expanded to include an opioid replacement therapy service in the north part of Canberra, which is a really significant expansion of that service, so that people do not need to travel to Canberra Hospital to access that service.

We continue to deliver improved services right across the city. Belconnen Community Health Centre includes mental health services. That will be part of the conversation with the community: exactly what will go into that new centre.

MR DAVIS: Minister, did the government consider assisting the National Health Co-op to retain its Charnwood location?

MS STEPHEN-SMITH: We were informed of the National Health Co-op’s decision to close its Charnwood clinic and we were advised that there was not anything that the ACT government could do. We have, of course, over time, invested considerable amounts in boosting GP bulk-billing across the ACT. As I mentioned earlier, Belconnen, particularly west Belconnen, is one of the best-served parts of the ACT when it comes to bulk-billing, and Charnwood itself does have a family owned and operated practice that offers bulk-billing to all patients with a valid Medicare card.

As I said earlier, those patients who had attended the Charnwood National Health Co-op were able to continue to access services at other National Health Co-op clinics. Patients who have seen a GP from the National Health Co-op in the last 12 months are also able to have a telehealth appointment with the Health Co-op. And, as part of our response to COVID-19, the ACT government has worked with Carers ACT to undertake a project to identify and address barriers to accessing and taking up telehealth opportunities for individuals. We know that is not going to be accessible for everybody, but we will continue to work with the National Health Co-op as well in the delivery of the new walk-in health centre in Molonglo, which is going to be collocated with the National Health Co-op there, delivering outstanding ACT public health services, particularly in maternal and child and family health, alongside and integrated with general practice services.

Schools—hazardous materials

MR COE: I have a question for the Minister for Education and Youth Affairs. Last week it was revealed that lead contamination at eight times the acceptable level had been found at Richardson Primary School. Minister, at that school, prior to the remediation, how many children and staff were exposed to the paint?


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