Page 183 - Week 01 - Wednesday, 26 February 2014

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development deed and the collaboration and precinct deed—means that we can progress the design work on the new hospital. The signing of the deeds marks the transition formally to the design phase of the project.

On 15 January, the principal consultant request tender was released to four shortlisted principal consultants. It is expected that they will be engaged early in the second quarter of 2014 and will start the preliminary sketch plan or design phase.

So it is all going pretty well at this point in time. There is a lot of work underway and we really do appreciate the support and assistance of the University of Canberra in working with us on some quite complex, technical, legal matters around how we acquired the land to build this hospital. But we have reached agreement on that and the design phase will now commence.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what role will the hospital play in the broader health system for the ACT and region?

MS GALLAGHER: The University of Canberra public hospital will provide a centre of rehabilitation excellence for the ACT and surrounding region. It will facilitate the consolidation of inpatient rehabilitation services from both Canberra and Calvary hospitals and will provide the opportunity to develop new service delivery models in a purpose-built facility. This will have the added benefit of freeing up bed capacity at both Canberra and Calvary hospitals. Currently patients can experience delay in accessing specialty rehabilitation beds if they need to go interstate or if they are seeking to access the inpatient beds currently available in our hospitals.

This new hospital will provide a purpose-built, state-of-the-art teaching hospital which will allow students to get firsthand experience of studying and learning and having work experience in a facility of excellence. I think it will also help us attract students and more research dollars to the University of Canberra, which will help us deliver on some of the objectives we have set out in our business development strategy and, indeed, through study Canberra.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, what services will be provided at the hospital? Can you tell us some more?

MS GALLAGHER: The hospital will comprise 140 overnight inpatient beds made up of 20 mental health rehabilitation and 120 rehabilitation beds. In addition to the overnight beds, the hospital will comprise 75 day places, or 30 bed equivalents, made up of 25 mental health, 25 rehabilitation and 25 aged care places.

The services will be available to a range of adult, aged care and mental health patients in a supportive and therapeutic environment. There will be a range of allied health services such as hydrotherapy, psychiatric rehabilitation services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech pathology, exercise pathology, social work and structured psychological therapies.

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