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  • Written by ACT Government


The 2017 Budget will kick start the delivery of the ACT Government’s 10-Year Health Plan for better health care in our community.

The Budget will invest right across the health sector – from better health infrastructure in our hospitals, better health care in our suburbs and preventative health measures to keep Canberrans healthy and active.

We are starting work on the Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency (SPIRE) Centre at the Canberra Hospital, expanding the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and delivering new Nurse-led Walk-in Centres in our suburbs.

Through our $1.6 billion investment in this Budget, we will ensure the University of Canberra Public Hospital is open and ready to care for patients from 2018. We will also upgrade the oncology and acute aged care wards at Canberra Hospital to deliver better patient care and comfort.

Along with these significant infrastructure investments, the Budget delivers better support and training for our frontline carers by establishing a new clinical school for nurses, midwifes and allied health professionals.

We are also making the mental health of Canberrans a priority with a $23.8 million mental health package.  This includes funding to establish a new Office for Mental Health to coordinate the delivery of mental health services in the ACT.

Through this Budget, the ACT Government is delivering on our commitments to provide better health care for Canberrans when and where they need it.

Building our future health infrastructure

ACT Government is investing $353 million in better health infrastructure for Canberra, including:

  • $236 million over the initial four years to plan, design and commence construction of the $500 million SPIRE Centre within the Canberra Hospital precinct. When established, SPIRE will have a ward dedicated to elective surgery, world class radiology services, and a much larger emergency department with a separate paediatric ward;
  • Almost $70 million to expand the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, building on the success of the Centenary Hospital by delivering a new ward with another 40 maternity beds;
  • $17.3 million to renovate the existing acute aged care and cancer facilities at the Canberra Hospital;
  • $14 million over five years to build and plan for new Nurse-led Walk-in Centres in Gungahlin, the Weston Creek region, and the Inner North;
  • $12.1 million to build a new health centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Canberrans; and
  • $3.3 million to begin planning for enhanced northside hospital facilities, reflecting the growing population in Canberra’s north.

Better local care, when you need it

The ACT Government is investing $28 million to keep Canberrans healthy and active and provide better care when and where people need it, including:

  • $16.1 million to ensure full operational readiness for the new University of Canberra Public Hospital to open in 2018;
  • $4 million to invest in initiatives as part of a new preventative health strategy to keep our community healthy and active and reduce the burden of chronic disease;
  • $3.2 million to purchase and operate two additional mobile dental vans to provide dental care closer to home for those that need it;
  • $2.7 million to establish a new Year 7 Health Check for Canberra students;
  • $1.1 million for new grants to incentivise more GP bulk-billing services in Canberra’s south;
  • $732,000 to continue to provide free whooping cough vaccinations for expectant mums;
  • $150,000 to promote organ and tissue donation so more Canberrans can benefit from this lifesaving gift;
  • $136,000 to plan for a significant expansion of the Hospital in the Home Program; and
  • $100,000 to develop a framework for patient care navigators who assist patients with chronic and complex health conditions better understand how to get the healthcare services they need.

Supporting our health workforce

The ACT Government will deliver $39 million to support our health workforce, including:

  • $36 million to train and support more frontline health staff, including 12 new nurse navigators to support patients with complex needs and more training scholarships for nurses and midwives; and
  • 2.7 million to establish a new University of Canberra clinical school for nursing, midwifery and allied health.

Better mental health care for Canberrans

The ACT Government is making the mental health of Canberrans a priority with a $23.8 million mental health package.  This includes $2.9 million to establish a new Office for Mental Health to coordinate the delivery of mental health services in the ACT as well as:

$13.8 million to deliver new rehabilitation beds at the Dhulwa Mental Health Unit;

$5.3 million to invest in a range of programs and services to improve the mental health of Canberrans, including headspace and the Detention Exit Outreach Program; and

$1.8 million to reduce the incidences of suicide in our community through funding for the Black Dog Institute’s Life Span Suicide Prevention Program.


Delivering better health care where and when you need it (pdf 285 KB)

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