Page 3792 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 September 2018
MS FITZHARRIS: I thank Mr Pettersson for the supplementary question. Walk-in centres provide an integrated service. They work closely with local GPs and other primary healthcare providers. The service model for the walk-in centres is based on one-off appointments. A patient requiring ongoing care will be encouraged to follow up with their GP. Following every walk-in centre appointment, where a patient consents, a report is provided back to their GP. Equally, staff at walk-in centres assist patients to find GPs in their local area if they do not already have one. If a patient presents with a condition that is best treated elsewhere, a referral can be made to enable the appropriate service to assist, which may include a GP, an emergency department or an outpatient clinic.
One of the most complementary benefits of walk-in centres is that care is provided to patients for free. While I recognise that for at least one of the Canberra Liberals one of their biggest problems with walk-in centres is that it is, “a service provided free of charge to somebody who walks through the door by other ACT taxpayers”—just like many other public healthcare services—for many Canberrans affordable health care and, indeed, free publically funded health care are something they do not take for granted and do not perceive to be a big problem.
MS CHEYNE: Minister, can you provide the Assembly with an update on the additional walk-in centre for the Weston Creek region and the inner north health centre?
MS FITZHARRIS: Yes, I am delighted to provide updates on the fourth and fifth walk-in centres that the ACT Labor government will be delivering for the Canberra community. While I am aware that those opposite think that this investment in walk-in centres would be better going to bolster other services, I am delighted to update the Assembly that, instead of half-formed policy ideas to close walk-in centres, our government is progressing full steam ahead with expanding the number of nurse-led walk-in centres to five across the ACT.
In August I was also pleased to announce the preferred location for a nurse-led walk-in centre in the Weston Creek region, collocated with the existing community health centre on Parkinson Street in Weston, right in the heart of the Weston Creek group centre. It will be Canberra’s fourth walk-in centre, offering people in the growing Molonglo Valley and Weston Creek region better access to free health care. Work will now progress to design, refurbish and reinvigorate the community health centre by adding the new walk-in centre and expanded community health offerings to the existing facility.
Early planning for a health centre in the inner north is continuing. This important planning work will inform the government’s decisions about what services are needed in the inner north, including those services currently offered at the city health centre. I look forward to keeping the Assembly updated as this work progresses.
MR HANSON: My question is to the Attorney-General. Attorney, the Canberra Times of 16 September stated in its editorial: