Page 2286 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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MR BARR: Because we are able to change the format of the budget any time we want.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Treasurer, what benefits will arise for Canberra families from this budget?

MADAM SPEAKER: No, I cannot rule that in order, because it was a question about the cost of living statement.


MS BERRY: My question is to the Minister for Health. Minister, can you provide an overview for members of the Assembly of the government’s commitment to the ACT health system as detailed in the 2013-14 budget?

MS GALLAGHER: I thank Ms Berry for the question. The 2013-14 budget continues this government’s very strong commitment to building and supporting quality health care in the ACT, and we do that through a variety of ways, whether it be through the funding of new services or the establishment of new infrastructure to deliver those services from. This budget will deliver $129 million over four years for growth and new initiatives and an additional $72 million in capital funding.

I would say that this was a decision that we took in the 2006 budget to put away and make provision for health growth funding into the outyears, which has proven to be, I think, a demonstration of our fiscal responsibility. We understood that in order to fund health appropriately we were going to have make provision right through the forward estimates and over a longer period of time. I think this is about our seventh year of providing this growth formula. What it allows us to do is to better plan and make allocations for services. It also allows us to speak with the experts around the allocation of those funds in a more efficient way because those funds are guaranteed.

The funding this year is primarily targeted to expanding our hospital services, both in Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital, through a range of different means, whether it be through extra beds within the hospital, a new birth centre for Calvary, extra support for the emergency departments or, of course, the very expensive business of elective surgery.

It will also go to other areas of need, like women’s and children’s health, expanding our outpatient services at the Capital Region Cancer Centre and our community health service provision, with the expanded or enhanced community health centre at Belconnen, which will open later this year, and will include a walk-in centre. It will include breast screening in the community, aged-care and rehabilitation services, community mental health and renal services, in addition to the standard community health services.

There will also be some extra support for outpatient clinics at the Canberra Hospital. There is significant pressure there and that pressure is directly correlated with the

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