Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Wednesday, 10 February 2021) . . Page.. 387 ..
MR PETTERSSON: Minister, could you please update the Assembly on the introduction of an imaging service to the Weston Creek Walk-in Centre?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Mr Pettersson for his supplementary. I am very excited by this announcement of the introduction of an imaging service at Weston Creek Walk-in Centre. As we begin to introduce walk-in health centres to the community, we are also continuing to assess and develop the existing walk-in centres model of care, looking at how we can continue to build on the capability of the current network of five walk-in centres.
In order to expand the scope of walk-in centres, Canberra Health Services has been analysing relevant data, including service activity data, population-based needs and workforce modelling, to support the safe and sustainable expansion of service scope. Based on this work, the 2020-21 budget provides $10.9 million, which includes $5.7 million for capital, for a new medical imaging outpatient service at Weston Creek Walk-in Centre. The expanded service will provide community access to commonly required diagnostic medical imaging services, including ultrasound, X-ray and computer tomography, commonly known as CT.
The proposed model of care will provide a service to outpatients in an accessible location separate from Canberra Hospital or Calvary hospital, and will also take referrals from other walk-in centres across Canberra. The project will get underway shortly, with phased operations expected to commence in 2022. The new imaging service will help to reduce community wait times for outpatient medical imaging, while also enabling more efficient scan times for emergency and inpatients at Canberra Hospital. This will see our community able to access more healthcare services closer to home and, importantly, away from our busy hospital campuses.
DR PATERSON: Minister, how will the walk-in centres improve health outcomes for Canberrans?
MS STEPHEN-SMITH: I thank Dr Paterson for her question. I am always pleased, as I am sure members, at least on this side, are always pleased, to hear people’s positive experiences of visiting our existing walk-in centres and our existing community health centres that already provide excellent care to people when and where they need it. The walk-in health centres will further expand our capacity to provide care closer to home in a positive environment, supported by friendly and professional staff.
The role of existing walk-in centres in the community and the new walk-in health centres is one of the key focus areas of the territory-wide health services plan, which will establish a framework for community-based health services in the ACT. Current walk-in centres and health centres will continue to support a shift from hospital-based care to community-based care, providing care closer to home, according to population growth and the health needs of our community.
As highlighted by the Coombs walk-in health centre, which will provide, as I said earlier, maternal, child and family health care, each health centre’s services will be