Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 20 April 2021) . . Page.. 834 ..
past financial year are a testament to the Directorate of Health, Canberra Health Services and the Minister for Health.
We are particularly pleased to see the government’s investment in planning for Canberra’s future health needs through support for continued funding towards the new walk-in centres, the commitment to support the establishment of a new residential respite facility for people living with a life-limiting illness, and the north-side hospital scoping project.
We know that a well-resourced public sector is an integral part of the delivery of health services and look forward to working within government and from the crossbench to ensure that the planning work for these services is transparent, collaborative and centres on the experiences of healthcare consumers and healthcare workers.
It was disappointing, though, that, yet again this year, the publicly funded services at Calvary hospital were unable to be given the same level of scrutiny as our other public health services through the estimates process. As a new member of the health and community wellbeing committee, I was shocked to learn that this is a well-known but frowned upon lack of accountability. It has been recommended to the government through two prior estimates processes that they ensure that senior executives from Calvary Public Hospital attend annual reports hearings of the health committee. The ACT government has a responsibility to ensure that the public funding given to Calvary for the provision of these essential public health services is appropriately accounted for.
In developing the plans for future walk-in centres we expect to see the government continue to work collaboratively with community partners to examine the potential of collocating community health services such as sexual health testing and parent and child health care.
We note the implementation work that has come from the ACT Health and CHS culture review and we remain cautiously optimistic that this will mean that we will observe improvements in the health and wellbeing of ACT Health and CHS staff, particularly junior doctors and nursing staff.
As the ACT Greens spokesperson for drug harm reduction, I was pleased to see the outcomes of the government’s commissioned feasibility study for a medically supervised drug consumption room, the funding for which is followed through in this budget. In future budgets it will be vital to see this work come into fruition through a pilot consumption room. I also look forward to future budgets including funding for a permanent pill testing site, which we know will help significantly to improve the health of, and reduce any risk to, people who use drugs. We are pleased to see an increasing emphasis in successive ACT governments on social equality and attention to the experiences of marginalised populations, including those who use drugs.
We went to the election with a promise of a better normal after COVID-19. We know that COVID was not just a health crisis and that it exacerbated existing inequalities, including in existing healthcare systems. The ACT Greens are pleased to support the