Future-proofing our health system

Future-proofing our health system

Through the 2019 Budget we are making the significant investments needed to future-proof our health system, responding to our growing community’s need for free, high quality public healthcare.

We will deliver the new SPIRE Centre to meet our region’s healthcare needs into the coming decade, continue expanding our network of Walk-in Centres to deliver faster healthcare close to home for more Canberrans, and significantly boost specialist healthcare to respond to the changing needs of our community.

Over the next five years we will invest almost $1 billion in new and improved healthcare infrastructure across Canberra. This will ensure our hospitals and community health centres can keep providing quality care that’s accessible when it’s needed – wherever you live across this city.


We are delivering a major upgrade and expansion of The Canberra Hospital with the Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre.

SPIRE will be a state-of-the-art critical care and surgical facility able to meet acute healthcare demand into the future by providing:

Preparatory site works for SPIRE will get underway with decanting and site works commencing this year, with construction set for completion in 2023-24.

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

At the same time as we are delivering SPIRE to grow capacity for critical care, we are also expanding the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children to deliver more specialist facilities for young people, new mothers and their babies.

The expansion will deliver more neonatology services including more special care beds and increased support for families, more post-natal beds and an expanded Maternity Assessment Unit, and facilities for more family support and education services. It will also feature a refurbishment of the Paediatric High Care Unit, a new adolescent mental health inpatient unit supported by day services, and an adolescent gynaecology service.

Inner North Walk-in Centre

We will establish a new Walk-in Centre at Dickson, providing faster access to care for minor injury and illnesses for people across the Inner North.

This new facility will bring Canberra’s network of Walk-in Centres to five, following the delivery of the new centre in Gungahlin and soon to open centre in Weston Creek.

Canberra’s Walk-in Centres have proven to be a popular choice for Canberrans seeking fast access to health advice and care, with the established Tuggeranong and Belconnen centres recording approximately 44,000 visits in the past 12 months alone.

More specialist care

We are investing in the specialist services that provide care for Canberrans through boosting the capacity of Calvary Public Hospital theatres and investing in public outpatient clinics, to help cut waiting times and wait lists, and reduce out of pocket costs for people with chronic conditions.

This will include expanding rheumatology, urology, dermatology and childhood and gestational diabetes services, as well as boosting resources for the Fracture Clinic at The Canberra Hospital.

Growing mental health care

Investing in mental health services has been a high priority in recent ACT Budgets, in recognition of the growing need for inpatient, residential and community-based care.

Through the 2019-20 Budget we will continue to grow services by expanding the Mental Health Consultation Liaison service to operate seven days a week; establishing an Eating Disorders Specialist Clinical Hub and a community based intervention support service; and delivering more staff resources for the Adult Mental Health Unit at The Canberra Hospital.


Media Release: Future-proofing Canberra’s health and hospital services