Page 1530 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 April 2013

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MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for his interest in important matters like the ACT health system. The term “subacute” describes patients whose need for health care is predicted by their functional status rather than their principal diagnosis. The predominant goal is enhancement of the patient’s quality of life and/or improvement of his or her functional status. Examples of subacute care include rehabilitation, psychogeriatric care and palliative care.

In Canberra our subacute services operate on the Calvary hospital site and the Canberra Hospital site. At Calvary hospital it is funded through a purpose-built subacute facility—the Keaney Building. This has provided opportunity to free up beds in the inpatient general wards.

We also have a number of subacute beds which are offered throughout and open through the Canberra Hospital campus, which also involves services like rehabilitation as well as care for the elderly. The Canberra Hospital tries where possible to transition people from acute care to subacute care and then back into the community where appropriate.

Last week, or the week before, I was able to visit David Harper House at Monash for the formal opening. One of the great things about the visit was the opportunity to look at a recent agreement that the Health Directorate has had with Goodwin Homes to purchase eight subacute beds at David Harper House for people leaving hospital but not yet ready to go into residential aged care facilities. I was able to look around at the service offered at David Harper House—the single rooms with en suites which provide very nice amenity for people who are having long periods of time in a hospital-type environment but without the hospital attached to that. I think we will look at this partnership. It appears to be going well for the people who are leaving the hospital and going into David Harper House and it is also working for Goodwin Homes.

We are also due to open eight medi-hotel beds in late 2013 at the Canberra Hospital site. This will provide accommodation for people who do not require acute care but still require additional medical support. We also, through the budget, have announced an expansion of the hospital-in-the-home services. An additional 24 bed equivalents have been committed between 2013-14 and 2016-17. I am really pleased because hospital in the home is a very highly regarded service. In terms of patient feedback it is very positive, and I think more and more jurisdictions are looking to alternatives to hospital-based care and to providing their services, where they can, where people need them and where it is convenient, which is quite often in the home.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Can the minister update the Assembly on planning for a subacute hospital on the University of Canberra site?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke, again, for the question. We made some announcements last year about planning for a subacute hospital on the University of Canberra site. When that project is completed, subacute patients from both Canberra

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