Page 3300 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

choice at any of their eight clinics here in the ACT. I was surprised at how low the membership costs were. But for those on concession cards, this is lowered by 50 per cent and those who can demonstrate hardship can get access to free membership. All appointments are bulk-billed. The co-op’s concept to bulk-bill is in response to the low number of doctors who bulk-bill in the ACT, which makes it very difficult for patients from low income families.

The ACT has the lowest number of doctors who bulk-bill. According to the federal Department of Health, 83.7 per cent of GP visits across Australia in the 2015 financial year were bulk-billed. In the ACT 55.6 per cent were bulk-billed. Initiated in 2004, the co-op was formed in response to the lack of GPs in the north-western suburbs of Canberra. A committee was established and with capital funding from the federal government, the first GP clinic was opened in 2010. They now have eight clinics employing more than 90 medical staff. This includes GPs, nurses, nurse practitioners, dieticians, exercise physiologists, pharmacists and obstetricians.

Perhaps their greatest achievement is the focus on health education. Using data analytics, the National Health Co-op actively monitors and targets outreach for 10 different health conditions. These include asthma, childhood obesity, heart health and diabetes. Patients identified with these health conditions or with potential problems are encouraged to attend health education sessions, such as the National Health Co-op’s nationally recognised lifestyle modification program, which provides individuals with tools to help manage chronic disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The success of the National Health Co-op is due to the positioning of its clinics in the areas of greatest need. More than 33,000 people have taken up the membership from all across Canberra and the region. The National Health Co-op is looking to expand its business over the border into other areas across the country.

The National Health Co-op has a strong commitment to innovation, clinical experience, excellence and patient outcomes. It was a pleasure to meet the CEO and general manager. I look forward to hearing more of their expansion into the future.

Giralang playground—anti-Semitic graffiti

MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (6.42): It is with a heavy heart that I rise today to bring attention to the disgusting display of anti-Semitism and bigotry that was left at a playground in Giralang. Spray-paint markings of a swastika were noticed by the local community in May. Most concerning is that the park is located just a few hundred metres from a synagogue. In addition to that, many members of the Jewish community live in the nearby area and use the park.

This sort of graffiti is put there for only one purpose: to intimidate members of our Jewish community. Local Rabbi Shmueli Feldman’s comments on the impact of this graffiti are worth repeating. Rabbi Feldman said in his comments to the ABC:

Swastikas represent hate; that was the symbol of the Nazis, and having Holocaust survivors in our community as well—this is something that can send shock waves of fear throughout the community.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video