Page 3868 - Week 12 - Thursday, 29 October 2015

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they otherwise might. For example, there has been a very significant refurbishment of the Canberra Hospital pharmacy. The pharmacy, of course, is a critical part of hospital operations. It ensures that people are able to be discharged in a timely manner and, therefore, get the medications they need. The efficient operation of the pharmacy improves the overall efficiency of the hospital. The works have included a complete modernisation of the pharmacy to create a larger, brighter and better working environment for its staff, improved dispensary facilities, improved research facilities and improved staff security and safety.

We have also seen improvements to a range of areas involving waiting area space, improving patient flow and creating a better patient experience in various parts of the hospital. These capital upgrades have been to a total of around $230,000.

The government has significantly enhanced the operating theatres at Canberra Hospital as well. That includes the opening of two new operating theatres, two new anaesthetic rooms, a pump room, a sterile supply room and a new scrub area. These investments have seen an extra 500 procedures able to be performed each and every year at the Canberra Hospital as a result of this increased capacity.

We have also significantly invested in new scanning and imaging technology. The positron emission tomography-computerised tomography scanner suite at the Canberra Hospital is designed to close an existing gap in service delivery. Before the installation of the PET-CT scanner this technology was simply not available in our city or in our region, with patients requiring this type of imaging needing to travel to Sydney or Melbourne. As a result of the government’s investment in this technology, we see in excess of 1,000 patients each and every year from Canberra and the surrounding region benefiting from this new service. This means less travel, less inconvenience and less disruption to the patients, their families and their day-to-day lives. So it is a very important investment in this new form of imaging capability.

In addition, the surgical assessment and planning unit located on level 2 of building 12 at Canberra Hospital is now in a completely new and refurbished area. This 16-bed unit is now enabling surgical patients presenting to the Canberra Hospital to be quickly transferred to a specialist surgical assessment unit where they can be comprehensively assessed prior to their surgery being undertaken.

These are just a few of the capital upgrades that have been underway or are now complete at the Canberra Hospital. They are delivering better health care for our city and for our community and, at the same time, they are making sure that we meet the ongoing growth and demand that we see across the health portfolio.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, can you please update the Assembly on the ongoing expansion of the ED at Canberra Hospital?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his supplementary. Yes, another part of our upgrades to the Canberra Hospital is of course a $23 million expansion of the Canberra Hospital emergency department. This will provide for 21 more beds and treatment spaces, three more ambulance bays and an extra 1,000 square metres of

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