Page 2693 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

$2 million has been allocated through the budget to help get kids moving and encourage more active travel across our suburbs. We want to make riding or walking to school in Canberra the norm once again. This includes the expansion of the active streets for schools program, a further rollout of the ride or walk to school program, the creation of a dedicated schools transport coordinator and resourcing of the active travel office.

As the minister responsible for community health services, population health and public health protection policy I am pleased to say that this budget will see more services provided in the community. There is more than $8 million over four years for drug services in the community sector including measures to address family violence; $2.7 million over four years for community services for hard-to-reach populations, sexual health initiatives and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health initiatives; and $4.2 million over four years to provide additional outpatient services for cancer services, respiratory, neurology and cardiac services.

Funding is also provided to meet demand for forensic chemistry by the ACT Analytical Laboratory. The laboratory provides analytical support for the criminal justice system in relation to controlled substances and has seen a significant increase in samples requiring testing. Five hundred thousand dollars will be provided for two additional staff in this area. Funding of $50,000 has also been allocated to scope the requirements of an upgrade to the ACT notifiable diseases database. An upgrade to the database will make sure that the ACT can comply with local and national public health legislation and actively respond to cases and outbreaks of notifiable diseases and the protection of the health of our community.

In addition this year’s budget is investing in services that will make a big difference to the lives of Canberrans experiencing tragedy and trauma. Palliative care is a significant and crucial service provided to those in our community, particularly those requiring end-of-life care, not just for the elderly. Sadly, on occasion, children are also in need of these services as well. As Minister Corbell noted, over the next four years the ACT government will expand palliative care through a $2.1 million investment to fund for the first time a paediatric palliative care nurse to specifically address the needs of children and young adolescents.

I would like to take the time to say it has been a privilege to be appointed to the role of Assistant Health Minister this year. I have had many firsthand experiences of how essential the health services are and I have the responsibility to improve the health of the community and protect the health of Canberrans through speciality areas. I have also seen how community health services and population health programs, delivered through our community health centres, our walk-in centres and healthy lifestyle programs and activities, support the acute healthcare services that are provided within our public hospitals. As you know, we have six community health centres and two nurse-led walk-in centres in Canberra which provide a comprehensive range of services to local communities where they need it and when they need it.

To name some of the services provided through our community health centres, there are: nursing and allied health, maternal and child health, mental health and alcohol and drug services, dental, diabetes services, physiotherapy and podiatry. Our

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video