Better healthcare for a growing community
The 2018 Budget will boost Canberra’s public healthcare with a major new investment in our hospitals and local health services.
The ACT Government already invests a third of the ACT Budget on healthcare. This year will see us step up that investment with more beds and surgeries, more resources for our emergency departments and more investment in new hospital infrastructure to meet the needs of our growing city.
This will see our investment in healthcare for Canberrans rise to about $2 billion a year by 2021-22.
More staff and frontline care
Our doctors, nurses, midwives and allied health staff are working hard to keep Canberrans healthy as our city grows. This Budget will back them up with a significant new investment in staff and services, including:
- $64.7 million to increase the number of elective and emergency surgeries (bringing elective surgeries to around 14,000 per year) to improve access to surgical care and reduce wait times
- $34.5 million to expand the Hospital in the Home program so that around 3,000 more patients each year can receive the care they need in their own homes and community health centres
- $25.9 million for more hospital beds including support for maternity services at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and more beds to cope with the annual winter surge that hits our hospitals during flu season
- $21.2 million for more resources to help cut waiting times at Canberra Hospital Emergency Department
- $6.3 million to expand health services at Alexander Maconochie Centre, with additional funding for dental, mental health and general practice services
- $500,000 over three years to the Health Care Consumers' Association for initiatives that will help patients better navigate our health system
- $250,000 for early planning to expand alcohol and drug services to develop options for future service models for withdrawal and early intervention, as well as link to the development of the ACT Drug and Alcohol Court.
More health infrastructure for our future
Since July 2008, the ACT Government has invested over $1 billion in new and upgraded health infrastructure for Canberra. This has included the expansion of the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department and other upgrades to Canberra Hospital, and the brand new University of Canberra Hospital which will treat its first patients in July.
The 2018 Budget will continue our long-term investments in the hospitals and health facilities our city will need in the years ahead, including:
- $15 million for capital upgrades at Calvary Public Hospital, which will deliver additional treatment spaces, improved access and triage arrangements, enhanced waiting areas and an expanded Short Stay Unit, including additional paediatric beds, within the Emergency Department
- $12 million to construct a new health centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through staged payments to Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service over the period 2017-18 to 2020-21
- $2 million to continue Canberra’s fourth Walk in Centre in the Weston Creek region to add to the network and improve access to free healthcare for Canberrans
- Continue progress on the planning and scoping of the new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre (SPIRE), the expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and future hospital options for Canberra’s northside. The Budget includes $561 million in delivery provisions for these major projects.
These new investments confirm that delivering territory wide, accessible, high quality healthcare for our growing city is one of the ACT Government’s top priorities.
Media contact: Claire Johnston 0452 597 459 ClaireV.Johnston@act.gov.au