Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 02 Hansard (Thursday, 11 February 2021) . . Page.. 432 ..
delivery of this project in coordination with Canberra Health Services and the Health Directorate.
Madam Speaker, this is a positive example of our government getting on and delivering what we have been elected to do. I am pleased with the progress to date and will continue to update the Assembly as we reach key milestones.
I present the following paper:
Canberra Hospital expansion—Ministerial statement, Thursday, 11 February 2021.
That the Assembly take note of the paper.
MRS JONES (Murrumbidgee) (10.09): I welcome the update today from the minister about the Canberra Hospital expansion, and I appreciate her keeping the Assembly informed. However, the update misses the most important point. As the government embarks upon its 20th year in office, its broken promises and failure to deliver are most clear in the area of health.
Like most, I have seen significant deterioration in the health system, in particular in buildings. Our public hospitals are regularly operating at full capacity. At times, they are even overflowing, leaving some patients in beds in hospital corridors. Wait times for emergency department treatment and elective surgery are some of the longest in the country and have been for years.
Labor has been talking about the expansion of Canberra Hospital for over a decade and still has not delivered. In 2008, Katy Gallagher identified that we were facing a tsunami in health. In 2010, she promised a rebuild of the Canberra Hospital. By the 2016 election, we were being promised that the SPIRE building would be completed by 2022, which is just a year away. Now, SPIRE will not be completed until 2024 or possibly even later.
This government also promised that the expansion to the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children—absolutely necessary because the hospital was built with no more beds than its predecessor building—would be completed by 2021. That has now blown out to late 2023.
Today’s update confirms what has been a common theme under the government: more delays and more failures. The people of Canberra and the staff of TCH deserve better.
On an additional note to do with buildings and facilities at the Canberra Hospital campus, the College of Surgeons has requested, in discussions with me, to seek consideration of a new facility for the practice of surgeons improving their professional skills. Such a facility would be ideally accommodated at the Canberra Hospital on site, as it requires a supply of bodies, cadavers. This skill improvement is