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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3467 ..

In conclusion, the opposition will be supporting the proposed appropriations for the ACT local hospital network, the ACT Health Directorate and Canberra Health Services. As I have said on many occasions, what really needs to happen in the ACT health system is for the systems and processes to work efficiently so that the flow through our system is maximised. And you cannot operate a high-performing system with staff that are bullied, harassed and, at times, underpaid.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill agreed to in principle.

Detail stage

Schedule 1—Appropriations—proposed expenditure.

MR ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Parton): Standing order 180 sets down the order in which the bill will be considered; that is, in the detail stage, any schedule expressing the services for which the appropriation is to be made must be considered before the clauses and, unless the Assembly otherwise orders, the schedules will be considered by proposed expenditure in the order shown. With the concurrence of the Assembly, I propose that the Assembly consider schedule 1 by each part, consisting of net cost of outputs, capital injection and payments on behalf of the territory.

Part 1.1—ACT Local Hospital Network.

Part 1.2—ACT Health Directorate.

Part 1.3—Canberra Health Services

MR ACTING SPEAKER: I understand that it is the wish of the Assembly to debate parts 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 together.

MS STEPHEN-SMITH (Kurrajong—Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Minister for Families and Community Services and Minister for Health) (10.45): The 2021-22 budget not only continues the ACT government’s response to COVID-19 but also sets out our health plan for a COVID-19 normal Canberra and responds to the pressures that we have been seeing across our health system for some period of time.

The 2021-22 health portfolio expense budget is more than $2.1 billion, excluding territorial grants and health infrastructure. This represents an increase of 6½ per cent on 2020-21. The four-year budget reflects an increase of $1.3 billion across the health portfolio, compared to the previous four years. This is a step change and reflects this government’s commitment to our health system and the record investment being made to meet the challenges that we face.

The initiatives in this budget represent our commitment to improving our health system, expanding critical hospital services that are needed to respond to the short and medium-term impacts of COVID-19, and funds our plans for better care in the community and for more alcohol and other drug services.

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