Page 4191 - Week 14 - Tuesday, 26 November 2013

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MS GALLAGHER: I thank Dr Bourke for the question. During the lunch break, I went out to inspect the new parts of the second stage of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, as one of the significant moves has occurred with the move of the labour, birthing and delivery suite into the new stage 2 part of the building. Paediatrics will move in on Monday next week, which is stage 3. So we are almost at the final stage.

It was great to go and visit the hospital. It is a fantastic building—a three-storey hospital which provides a much better environment, with significant improvements in outpatient consultation rooms, in clinical office space, in education and training facilities and in family accommodation facilities. It will be fantastic that, I think, every room that is in the hospital, certainly single rooms, will allow parents to stay overnight with their children and partners to stay overnight with their partners in the labour and birthing and delivery suite.

The new stage 2 of the hospital is operational and will be officially opened on 11 December this year. Services that have now moved into stage 2 include paediatric outpatients; the birthing suite, which was known as the delivery suite; the foetal medicine unit; the postnatal short stay; the maternity assessment unit; and maternity and gynaecology outpatients. The final stage, which is just preparing for paediatric inpatient services to move in, will occur next week.

It has been great to see this project reach this conclusion. It has been a massive job for staff in women’s and children’s health services at ACT Health to operate the services they have been doing whilst a building has been constructed around them. As someone who has visited that hospital a number of times, and I have had my children in that hospital, both when they were born and with illness, I can assure Canberrans that the facilities that are now on offer for women and children in the territory are second to none in the country.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what other features have been included in the facility that support patients and their families?

MS GALLAGHER: There are a range of new features which support patients and their families. Certainly, in terms of the amenity of the rooms, there is the fact that parents are able to stay over, and the fact that the majority of the rooms are single rooms with privacy and en suites attached to them will significantly improve the family amenity in the hospital.

There is also, of course, the new George Gregan playground, thanks to the generosity of the George Gregan Foundation. The cost was about $700,000, and they have raised money for this project. The playground is spectacular. So there have been some very generous donations for that. The George Gregan Foundation, and both George and his wife Erica, should be congratulated on the effort that they have put in in creating an open space for children, not just patients of the hospital but people visiting with children. When I went through today at lunchtime there were a number of little ones

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