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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 07 Hansard (Wednesday, 23 June 2021) . . Page.. 1921 ..


Along with the Canberra Hospital expansion project and the master plan, a new north side hospital will provide capacity and infrastructure to future-proof the territory’s hospital infrastructure and system.

The investments we are making in health infrastructure are not just new facilities. We are also investing in e-health infrastructure to support how care is delivered to the Canberra community through the digital health strategy and particularly the digital health record.

The ACT Health Directorate signed a 10-year $114 million contract in July 2020 with Epic, a world-leading provider of digital medical record systems, to deliver the ACT’s digital health record, which will be operational in 2022-23. This will enable clinicians to have a single view of a patient and to have access to all relevant treatment protocols and forms in context for each case. The ACT digital health record will be implemented in all ACT public health services, including across our public hospitals, walk-in centres, community health centres, the new walk-in health centres and Justice Health.

The ACT government knows how important health is to Canberrans, and we are building infrastructure that supports not just the here and now but the future infrastructure that the community needs for their health and wellbeing. Our investments are thoughtful and they centre on the voices of consumers, clinicians and the wider community to plan, design and deliver infrastructure that truly meets the community’s needs.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (10.57): I thank the Chief Minister for providing an update on the ACT infrastructure plan. I would like to provide some additional information about mental healthcare infrastructure.

The ACT government is committed to providing people in need of mental health support with the right care at the right time for the right duration, aligned with an early intervention and prevention approach. The stepped care model is widely recognised as a best practice approach to mental health support, and I have been pleased to continue this work, started by previous mental health minister Shane Rattenbury.

Stepped care infrastructure ensures that people receive the level of care that is appropriate for their needs, stepping up to more intensive acute inpatient services only as required. The stepped care approach is crucial for a sustainable and effective modern healthcare system, as it promotes long-term recovery outcomes and contributes to reducing demand on expensive acute care, providing care in community wherever possible.

Support for this approach and the need to increase investment in early intervention and prevention services has been emphasised at the national level in the Productivity Commission’s final report on its inquiry into mental health, and in advice from the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Suicide Prevention. This approach is also supported in


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