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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 06 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 June 2017) . . Page.. 2027 ..

(e) investing in our nursing workforce, including through hiring more graduate nurses and nurse navigators to help Canberrans get the best frontline health care possible;

(f) planning for a major expansion of the successful Hospital in the Home program which especially benefits older Canberrans; and

(g) making it easier for Canberrans on the southside to access bulk-billing GP services through a new grants program;”.

(2) Omit paragraph (4), substitute:

“(4) acknowledges that mental health is a vital part of overall health and wellbeing and that the 2017 Budget will also invest in better mental health support for Canberrans, including through:

(a) more specialised interventions and increased support for pregnant women, new mothers, children, and young people;

(b) better suicide prevention through partnerships with leading providers;

(c) expanding the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit to deliver new rehabilitation beds in the secure mental health unit; and

(d) establishing the Office for Mental Health to improve coordination across the service system.”.

MR STEEL (Murrumbidgee) (4.51): I rise today to speak in support of Ms Cody’s motion and Minister Fitzharris’s amendments to the motion.

Health was a strong priority for ACT Labor at the election last year. Our Labor government is investing in a world-class healthcare system in this budget and delivering on our election commitments. At the election, we introduced our 10-year health plan for renewing Canberra’s health services, including investments in modern health infrastructure. This budget delivers $443 million in new investments to kick off our government’s 10-year health plan. The plan provides the investments we need in health infrastructure for acute and subacute patients, local healthcare services for our growing city, and investments in preventative health and mental health. Our growing population in Canberra and ageing population on the south side will mean more demand on our healthcare system, and this budget will provide them with the health care they need when they need it.

One of the ACT government’s key local responses is through our successful nurse-led walk-in centre model. Nurse-led walk-in centres are run by trained nurses to provide cost-free immediate care for minor illness and injuries without needing an appointment. The ACT government’s existing nurse-led walk-in centres in Belconnen and Tuggeranong have provided an invaluable service for the health of all Canberrans in need of minor and immediate attention from medical professionals.

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