Page 2258 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017

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floated throughout the election campaign; and not to mention what is clear, that is, the Liberals’ contempt for affordable accessible care through walk-in centres—

Opposition members interjecting


Mr Hanson: Question 10: first interjection.

MS FITZHARRIS: with you, Madam Acting Speaker, confirming just last week your view that they are simply just too expensive. And that was it.

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Just before I call Ms Cody, as a point of clarification, we are up to question 7, Mr Hanson.

Opposition members interjecting—

MADAM ACTING SPEAKER: Ms Cody, who I would like to hear.

Mr Hanson interjecting—


MS CODY: Minister, how does providing more walk-in centres contribute to community health care?

MS FITZHARRIS: Walk-in centres provide fast, free, one-off care for minor injury and illness on a no-appointment basis 365 days a year, from 7.30 every morning to 10 pm every night. Walk-in centres are designed to fill a gap in the current Canberra health services market, particularly after hours. They do complement existing services.

The services provided by walk-in centres are often distinct from those provided by other services, including GPs who are able to provide ongoing treatment and advice for more complex issues. Walk-in centre patients can see a specialist nurse for advice, assessment and treatment for minor illnesses and injuries such as cuts and bruises, minor infections, strains, sprains, skin complaints and coughs and colds.

Where required, walk-in centre nurses provide referrals and updates back to a patient’s GP or specialist so that they can receive ongoing care. Walk-in centres also provide an alternative to Canberra’s busy emergency departments, particularly after hours and on the weekends, helping to relieve pressure on our very busy emergency departments.

Walk-in centres also provide the community with health promotion information and resources that can enable them to better manage their own healthcare needs. Walk-in centres complement the existing range of healthcare services by providing a no-cost service in a market that has the lowest bulk-billing rates in Australia. They are critical to supporting the health needs of our community.

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