Labor unveils a community health plan

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ANDREW Barr says Labor’s community health plan includes a new centre to provide health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans, two new mobile dental vans and a significant expansion to the ‘Hospital in the Home’ program.

“Labor will further invest in community health infrastructure by providing $12 million to build a modern, fit-for-purpose health clinic for Winnunga Nimmityjah,” Andrew said.

“Labor knows that community-led health services like Winnunga play a critical role in delivering holistic health services and programs in an environment that is culturally skilled, sensitive and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

“Labor will also increase the capacity of the Hospital in the Home (HITH) program by employing a further 25 nurses and three doctors so it can be delivered in community health centres, as well as in the home. This is a significant $40.2 million commitment which will allow around 3,000 more patients a year to receive care that otherwise would have required spending time in hospital. The program will be expanded in close consultation with clinicians to ensure that patients continue to receive the appropriate level of clinical care.

“Other elements of Labor’s community health plan include:

  • A GP capital grant to construct three new bulk billing medical practices, two in Tuggeranong and one in the Molonglo Valley.
  • Two new mobile dental vans to improve dental services for Canberrans who may have difficulty accessing care, particularly residents of aged care facilities
  • A one-off $300,000 grant to Spinal Cord Injuries Australia to establish a NeuroMoves program in Canberra, offering people with spinal injuries a purpose-built gym to help them recover.
  • Provide the Health Care Consumers Association with an investment of $600,000 over two years to develop clear information to help patients better understand the health system and develop a model for patient care navigators to work with Canberrans with chronic health conditions.
  • Build two new nurse-led Walk-in Centres in Gungahlin and Weston Creek providing free health services for Canberrans.

“Labor will continue to work closely with our community health sector partners to build their capacity to engage in the design and delivery of local health services.

“This $76.5 million investment in community health infrastructure and health programs is part of ACT Labor’s long-term plan for the future of health in Canberra – giving Canberrans the care they need, where and when they need it.”

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