Labor promises the hospital of our dreams

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ANDREW Barr says a re-elected Labor Government will build a new Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre on the Canberra Hospital campus, with a new Emergency Department, elective and day surgical spaces, and more than 1,200 medical, nursing, allied health and support staff.

“This is part of Labor’s plan to continue to focus on giving patients the best care, and deliver services when they need them and where they need them most,” Andrew said.

“Labor will also boost health services for families across Canberra with a major investment to grow the capacity of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and fund new staff and services including:

  • More than 107 additional medical professionals, including nurses and doctors, to continue to support families and deliver healthy Canberra babies.
  • A new elective child and adolescent orthopaedic service.
  • A new specialised adolescent gynaecology service to reduce the need for young women and girls to travel to Sydney for treatment.
  • A new 12-bed child and adolescent mental health unit to be purpose-built and attached to Centenary Hospital.
  • 12 new paediatric high-dependency units and four paediatric intensive care beds.

“The SPIRE Centre, which will begin operating in around 2022, will ensure the Canberra Hospital can continue to support our growing population from Tuggeranong to Gungahlin.

“It will expand the Canberra Hospital’s theatre capacity from 13 to 20 theatres and offer:

  • Enhanced, state-of-the-art surgical, procedural, critical care and imaging facilities.
  • Two inpatient wards with 64 beds for patients requiring overnight care.
  • Dedicated theatres for emergency surgery and elective surgery, so elective surgeries are not delayed or cancelled as a result of emergency surgery.
  • A new coronary care unit for people requiring high level care for heart conditions with 24 beds.
  • A new intensive care unit with 48 bed bays, offering both high dependency and intensive care beds. This will include beds dedicated to paediatric care.
  • A new day surgery centre with seven procedure rooms designed for patients who can be admitted and discharged within 24 hours.

“A new expanded general Emergency Department adjacent to the SPIRE Centre will allow for the current ED to be dedicated to women and children with specialist staff. The two EDs will operate as one, but will have separate entrances to provide the best patient and family experience.

“This will allow our expert medical and surgical teams, who have excelled in recent times to get waiting times down, to continue to deliver world-class health services to all Canberrans.

“Two family violence risk assessment suites will also be built to provide safe, confidential and supportive care for women and children who have been victims of violence.

“Labor will also establish a new Family Assistance Fund to provide financial support for parents to be with their child when visiting hospitals interstate. This will assist families for example who may have a child with cancer and who need to travel to Sydney to access specialist treatment.”

The Liberals however, are not convinced.

On day one and in the first big lie of the campaign, ACT Labor has released a completely cynical furphy on health, pretending to support a system that it has left struggling for years. Just days ago ACT Labor dismissed any need to rebuild the Canberra Hospital, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Health Jeremy Hanson said today.

“Far from being a genuine fix, this announcement shows just how dishonest Andrew Barr is prepared to be. This announcement will not be delivered until 2022, not until after the next election, but health needs to be fixed now,” Mr Hanson said.

“ACT Labor promised a hospital at the last election, and then broke that promise because of the tram.

“This is a completely dishonest announcement from a Chief Minister who has shown over and over again he will say one thing before an election, and another after he has fooled the people of Canberra.

“Under the Canberra Liberals there will be over $500 million, including a rebuild of Canberra Hospital and two new hospitals in Gungahlin and Tuggeranong.

“There is only one thing that is certain, if Labor and the Greens are re-elected, we will get a $14 billion tram, and every family will pay, and pay and pay,” Mr Hanson concluded.

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