Page 1426 - Week 04 - Thursday, 26 March 2009

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Driving the capital asset development program is a complex mix of an ageing population, changing technology and provider and consumer expectations—all of which contribute to a significant increase in demand for health services. Community demand for health is expected to increase rapidly over the next 15 years and beyond. By 2022, Health modelling projects that the ACT’s public hospital admissions will increase by 77 per cent and overnight hospital admissions will increase by 49 per cent.

The ACT CADP is a comprehensive and structured response to these pressures. It incorporates the total health system, including new models of care aimed at better management of chronic disease and keeping people out of hospital. It also includes better use of technology and different ways of providing care such as community-based post-hospitalisation support or other step-up, step-down facilities.

The CADP also incorporates the infrastructure to support these new approaches. This covers all public sector health service delivery infrastructure, including hospitals and community health centres, and aims to integrate capital and clinical service development requirements with all aspects of health service delivery.

Under the CADP, the Canberra Hospital will be transformed via new buildings and refurbishment to provide new beds, a new women’s and children’s hospital, an integrated cancer centre, nine additional operating theatres and a skills development centre.

Calvary Public Hospital capacity will be enhanced by increased numbers of intensive care, high dependency unit and coronary care unit beds, increased theatres, additional ambulatory and emergency department treatment areas and an increase in hospital beds. Mental health infrastructure will be improved, including a 40-bed adult in-patient unit to replace the existing PSU and a mental health assessment unit, in addition to a secure unit and a 20-bed young persons unit.

I am very pleased to announce that the CADP is making substantial progress and is already delivering benefits to the community. In March we opened the first of three new operating theatres for Canberra. The new theatre at Calvary Hospital will incorporate a broad range of procedures including ophthalmology, orthopaedics, gynaecology and general surgery. It will enable revised schedules for emergency surgery with improved patient outcomes anticipated. Two further temporary operating theatres at Canberra Hospital are also under construction and we expect these to be completed by August 2009.

In relation to the neurosurgery suite at Canberra Hospital, IMRIS—a global leader in surgical imaging solutions—was announced as the supplier for this new neurosurgery suite. Canberra will be the first hospital in Australia, and is in the company of only 25 other hospitals in the world, to house IMRISneuro, which includes a movable MRI that allows surgeons to image patients in the operating room during brain surgery.

The design for the new women’s and children’s hospital is well underway. Design architects have been appointed and they are well advanced in working with planners, staff and consumers to design the new hospital. The final sketch plans for the hospital are due in May 2009.

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