Page 2259 - Week 07 - Tuesday, 1 August 2017
MR STEEL: Minister, what feedback has been received from the community and relevant stakeholders about walk-in centres?
MS FITZHARRIS: The walk-in centres continue to generate very high levels of feedback from Canberrans, with that feedback being overwhelmingly positive. The themes include professional and impressive service, best quality service, excellent advice and information, and many thanks to commend the government innovation of establishing walk-in centres.
Some of the suggestions received by ACT Health have been to improve street signage, changes to registration processes and suggestions to reduce waiting times between patients. However, I am pleased to advise members that, as many may know, the average wait time that a patient will experience in a walk-in centre is less than 15 minutes. Complaints received ranged from being unable to receive a vaccination and suggestions for improving the availability of equipment.
ACT Health has recently received feedback also from a number of GPs. In that vein, an information session organised by the Capital Health Network will be established for those GPs currently operating in or near the Gungahlin town centre to discuss the Gungahlin walk-in centre that was funded in this year’s budget. That meeting will take place on 31 August. I have had a number of discussions, including with the AMA and the royal college of GPs, and with some GPs one on one, including at a recent meeting during family doctor week, to discuss with them the opportunities to further integrate our health services, and the opportunities that the expansion of the walk-in centre network provides for that.
Health—alcohol, tobacco and other drugs strategy
MR WALL: My question is to the Minister for Health. The Government's peak tobacco, alcohol and other drugs strategy was meant to be completed by the end of 2015. It has still not been completed as of 1 August—today. Why has the review of the tobacco, alcohol and other drugs strategy not been completed more than two years after it was due?
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Wall for his question. He may have been listening when I was on ABC radio yesterday with Mr Coe discussing this very matter. It is the case that significant community-based consultation was undertaken throughout 2015 on the draft new version of the alcohol and drugs strategy. That was then provided to me in the first few months of my term as the assistant health minister. I asked for some further work to be done and also for consideration to be given to the current alcohol and drug services we provide directly through ACT Health. As a result, that work was continuing during the ACT election campaign.
We then of course were re-elected and established the parliamentary agreement, which contained a very important new initiative: to establish a drug and alcohol court. As I said yesterday, it is very important that the government’s initiative to establish a drug and alcohol court is considered in conjunction with the drug and alcohol strategy. It also needs to reflect the recently approved national drug strategy, which