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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 09 Hansard (Tuesday, 22 August 2017) . . Page.. 3144 ..

So that members may have a sense of the demands and needs of our community and the context of our current position in our growing city, I will outline what our health service has provided to Canberrans in the last year, in 2016-17: over 143,000 people presented to our two emergency departments; we conducted over 12,500 elective surgeries and saw about 36,500 people at our two nurse-led walk-in centres; and our hospital in the home program at Canberra Hospital provided almost 10,000 bed days of care for patients. This wonderful program enables patients to be released from hospital earlier and get home so that they can recover more quickly. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet with a patient who had experienced the health care that hospital in the home provides and it was humbling and terrific to see firsthand the positive impact the service has made on this man and his family.

We have high quality care evident across our system, including in the new dedicated paediatrics stream of the Canberra Hospital emergency department. From the nearly 20,000 presentations to this paediatric streaming service we have received a lot of positive feedback on the significant difference it has made to young families. We have also seen the highest number of emergency department presentations on record—a six per cent increase when compared to 2015-16. Responding to this growth and improving our services is a priority. I am pleased to say that our emergency departments continue to perform well. We have also continued to achieve high levels of elective surgery and have reduced the number of people waiting longer than clinically recommended. Through our reforms I am pleased to say we have also focused on reducing the waiting lists for medical imaging and have produced further improvements in this area.

With this is mind, it is a great pleasure to talk through the significance of this year’s budget, providing $1.6 billion to the health portfolio across the Health Directorate and the ACT Local Hospital Network. This budget represents an increase on the published 2016-17 budget and includes recurrent new initiatives funding of $108 million over four years, including $15.7 million for the commissioning of the very exciting new University of Canberra public hospital. This state-of-the-art facility will bring together rehabilitation care from across Canberra into one specialised, coordinated care centre. I am very pleased that this new funding in the budget will make sure that UCPH will be ready to deliver care in 2018. I note that this coming Saturday, in association with the University of Canberra open day, there will be public tours of UCPH.

We are also conscious of making sure that our investments are well spent. Some $36 million of the above $108 million over four years will be funded from efficiencies generated through the ongoing reform program, which I am very pleased to say are being reinvested into our health system. In addition to the additional appropriation, this budget provides $334 million over four years in capital funding, which will allow the ACT to expand its healthcare facilities across the territory to cater for our growth.

We are investing $236 million to plan, design and commence construction of the new surgical procedures and interventional radiology and emergency centre in Garran, within the Canberra Hospital precinct. This incredible new facility will boost the number of operating theatres from 13 to 20, providing more capacity and allowing for

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