Page 4252 - Week 13 - Thursday, 19 November 2015

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MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for his question. This Labor government remains very committed to providing comprehensive access to services for everyone in our community but particularly for those assisting women and children. The community paediatric and child health service provides for the investigation and/or management of young people with suspected or established developmental delay or disability and suspected medical developmental causes of behavioural or emotional disturbance.

The child at risk health unit provides medical examinations, health screens, education, consultation and therapy for children and their families and carers where there are concerns of child abuse or neglect. We offer child health checks via our maternal and child health nurses. Regular checks are needed to monitor how a child is developing and to offer early intervention if that is needed. MACH nurses are also able to assist parents by working in partnership to provide support, information and advice.

We have an excellent paediatric service at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children which is providing evidence-based quality care for children and adolescents in the ACT, for both those with acute conditions and those with chronic conditions. The women’s health service sees women who have significant difficulty in accessing health services. It runs the excellent well women’s clinic, providing counselling, education and specialised medical services.

Maternity services at the centenary hospital offer a very diverse range of programs to women during pregnancy, during birth and during those early parenting periods. Last financial year there were over 6,700 women cared for by the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and there were over 3,300 births at the hospital. We have 210 full-time midwife equivalents working in ACT Health. We have a very strong program of midwifery care, including care for women who have obstetric or medical complications. A very strong level of service is provided in these areas for women and children at ACT facilities.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Dr Bourke.

DR BOURKE: Minister, how is the government helping to address perinatal depression and anxiety?

MR CORBELL: I thank Dr Bourke for the supplementary. This is a timely question given that it is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week. It gives us an opportunity to raise awareness about this condition in our community. We do have as a government, through ACT Health, a perinatal mental health consultation service to support women with perinatal mental health issues, including but not limited to perinatal depression and anxiety.

This multidisciplinary team consists of a registered nurse, a social worker, occupational therapists and psychologists. There is also a consultant psychiatrist and a psychiatric registrar who provide services during the week. The Perinatal Mental Health Consultation Service provide for consultation and liaison. They also offer short-term therapy for women in the perinatal period, which is from conception through to 12 months after birth, and therapeutic support around the mother-infant

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