26 September 2023

Budget for ongoing health services

Start the conversation

The ACT’s 2023-24 Budget is to continue to invest in delivering more health services for Canberrans according to the Minister for Health, Rachel Stephen-Smith.

Commenting this week’s Budget, Ms Stephen-Smith said $43.6 million had been injected into frontline services to make up part of the $200 million-plus public health services package.

According to Ms Stephen-Smith, Canberra’s growing population can expect to see more appointments become available, more elective surgeries undertaken and new services delivered.

Expanding hospital services for children and young people

Ms Stephen-Smith said more than $15.8 million would be allocated into paediatric services at Canberra Hospital to help expand the paediatric nursing workforce and deliver new services.

“A new Paediatric Hospital in the Home program will be established to ensure the ACT’s children can be safely cared for at home when they need acute care but don’t need to be in hospital,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“This program will also strengthen the role of GPs in shared care arrangements, further supporting care closer to home for children and young people.”

She said the funding would also help upskill paediatric and emergency department staff in preparation for the opening of the Critical Services Building.

“The Government will establish a new dedicated Paediatric Gender Service to deliver age-appropriate gender care for children and young people up to 15 years of age to help address increasing demand,” the Minister said.

“In addition, the existing paediatric weight management program will be expanded to reduce waitlists and waiting times and increase quality of life for young people.”

Investing in the North Canberra Hospital

Ms Stephen-Smith said a $14.3 million boost will boost resourcing for North Canberra Hospital with more allied health and weekend support to better coordinate care in the Emergency Department, as well as supporting four additional inpatient beds.

More outpatient appointments and elective surgeries

The Minister said Canberrans would be able to access additional specialist medical and paediatric outpatient appointments with a $6.75 million allocation over the next four years.

“This will deliver an increase of 2,500 appointments each year for the next two years, growing to 5,000 additional appointments a year from 2025-26,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“Canberra Health Services is also undertaking a range of initiatives to sustainably grow outpatient capacity, including increasing the proportion of new appointments and recruiting more specialists,” she said.

“An additional $6.7 million in 2023-24 will help to address the significant impact of the pandemic and Calvary theatre fire on elective surgeries over the last two years, in line with the Government’s commitment to deliver 60,000 elective surgeries over four years.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the Government would continue to invest in the North Canberra Hospital as it is planned for the new modern facility, saying she looked forward to working with clinical leaders to ensure they keep delivering quality health care for the growing northside population.

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.