Page 1921 - Week 06 - Tuesday, 6 June 2017

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and their families will experience the benefits of this expansion through additional maternity beds and staff to care for women during their pregnancy, birth and into the postnatal period.

The expansion will respond to the significant growth in demand over the next 10 years for services to women and children in Canberra and the surrounding region. In the 12 months from April 2016 to March 2017 there were 3,680 births at the Centenary hospital. The new facilities that the government has committed to delivering will be developed to reflect that projected population growth and make sure that we are in the best position to meet that need.

In addition, as part of the expansion, the Centenary hospital will provide new services. These will include a dedicated adolescent gynaecology service. This service will reduce the need for young women and girls to travel to Sydney for treatment, as assessment and treatment will be provided locally, thereby improving access for our residents.

It was a pleasure recently to visit the Centenary hospital, just last week, where I met new babies Safira and Eden, and be reminded firsthand of the wonderful maternity and health facilities that Canberrans already have access to, in response to their health and wellbeing needs; and how they will benefit from the expansion of services and the ACT government’s commitment to making sure Canberrans have access to better health care where and when they need it.

MS CODY: What additional support will be provided to children and young people through the expansion of paediatric and adolescent services at the Centenary hospital?

MS FITZHARRIS: I would note that Ms Cody might take advantage of some health services herself; she is sounding pretty crook so I really appreciate the questions.

We are, of course, committed to improving the types of services available to women, children and families, and will improve access to the Centenary hospital. It will be expanded to become a centre of excellence in our region for women’s, youth and children’s health care.

The ACT government is committed to improving the types of services available to women, children, young people and their families. This commitment includes the development of a dedicated 12-bed paediatric high dependency unit within the Centenary hospital. We will introduce new services, including a new paediatric intensive care treatment space and new paediatric intensive care beds. This will assist in meeting the existing high acute needs of severely unwell children and adolescents and again reduce the need to transfer patients to New South Wales facilities.

It is recognised that there can be a detrimental impact on the patient and family when critically ill children and young people are transferred to alternative hospitals, so I am really pleased that the introduction of this service will enable patients to be treated where their family and support networks are readily available and minimise the disruption during what is a very difficult time when young people become severely unwell.

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