Page 3143 - Week 09 - Tuesday, 22 August 2017

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The government is also providing $13.8 million towards the Dhulwa mental health unit to make sure those with complex mental health issues are properly treated and looked after. Dhulwa is a vital piece of health infrastructure that our community needs. The facility provides the opportunity for people to further develop their skills and interests and prioritises rehabilitation.

This budget is a budget that looks to the future. It is a budget that sets out a long-term goal for a world-class, comprehensive and sustainable healthcare system in the ACT. It is a budget that again proves Labor’s commitment to properly and effectively funding our public health service.

MS FITZHARRIS (Yerrabi—Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Minister for Transport and City Services and Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research) (5.17): As Minister for Health and Wellbeing I am very proud of the quality of care we are providing to the community throughout our health system. This budget invests right across the health sector, from better health infrastructure in our hospitals, better health care in our suburbs and better preventative health measures right across the territory to keep Canberrans healthy and well. With the overwhelmingly positive feedback we receive from patients and their families every day, I have confidence that Canberrans believe this investment is essential, too.

Making sure that these approaches to care are right has been possible through the hard work of our doctors, nurses, allied health and other professionals who deliver high quality health care every day across Canberra and the high number of other professionals who support their efforts. We are able to do this because we have a clear plan, whether it is planning for the health needs and delivering the health services needed for our growing and changing community or planning better ways to help Canberrans stay out of hospital and to become healthier and more active. Our plan is on track and we start delivering through the 2017-18 budget.

Our 10-year health plan includes revitalising our health facilities, building and expanding hospitals and extending access to high quality health care where it is needed in the acute, community or prevention setting. The ACT government’s plan for health care includes the significant work we have been undertaking to plan for territory-wide health services. This work will ensure that we support the various methods of healthcare service delivery used to meet the needs of our community. We are making sure that members of our community with more complex healthcare needs receive the coordinated care and support necessary for more accessible care to deliver better health outcomes. This strategic work is well underway, and I am very grateful for the support and many ongoing discussions I have had with the community and stakeholders about this.

I welcome this opportunity to outline our key budget and strategic initiatives. They clearly demonstrate that the ACT Labor government is serious about developing a patient-centred healthcare system that delivers today, tomorrow and well into the next decade. Most importantly, these plans mean we need to invest in our health workforce. Making sure that we have the frontline staff and community-based health expertise through our highly professional health workforce has been a feature of this budget.

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