25 September 2023

Children’s health plan well on the way

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The Minister for Health and Wellbeing has commissioned a plan for children’s health services in the ACT to make sure families have access to the healthiest start in life.

The plan will cover children from birth though to 16 years of age.

The Minister, Meegan Fitzharris said the plan would be developed over the next 12 months and would set out priorities in order to strengthen the healthcare provided to Canberra’s children and their families.

“Children deserve the best start in life and making sure they are healthy both physically and mentally is an important part of this,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“This is especially important in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life.”

She said the new children’s health services plan would cover ACT public health services and programs across the health continuum, from staying healthy, to accessing care in the community or in hospital, to rehabilitation and end of life care.

“The plan will look at the ways we can strengthen our existing services and programs to support better outcomes, enhance patient and family experiences and improve access,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“We will also look at the future healthcare needs of 0-to-16-year-olds and how we can deliver smooth transitions of care to adult services where required.”

The Minister said the development of plan would focus on two key areas: Working with families of children who are, or have needed to, share their care with other major city hospitals; and Developing nation-leading services and supports for new parents.

“We know there are families in our community who have unfortunately had to navigate the healthcare system at a time when their child is very unwell,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“We want to learn from the experiences of these local families and provide them an opportunity to be part of and contribute to this important work, and we have asked the Healthcare Consumers Association to lead this work on our behalf.”

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