Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Increased healthcare funding to meet the demand of our growing city

February 06, 2020

The ACT Government is committed to providing Canberrans with affordable, accessible and quality healthcare when and where they need it.

The Government is investing an additional $60 million in Canberra Health Services as part of the mid-year budget review.  This supplementary funding to the 2019-20 Budget will help to meet the increasing demand on our health care services, including for elective and emergency surgery.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said Canberra’s public health system has been experiencing a sustained period of growing demand.

“The need for emergency and elective surgery has grown significantly over the past four years, along with an increase of Emergency Department presentations.

“Our hospital system performed a record number of elective surgeries in 2019 and is on track to perform even more in 2020.  This additional funding will ensure Canberra Health Services is well equipped and resourced to continue delivering critical health services to Canberrans.

“We had a long and busy flu season in 2019 and we continue to see increasing presentations to the Canberra Hospital Emergency Department.

“This funding will help to meet the growth in demand our frontline services are experiencing and to ensure our staff are equipped to deliver exceptional health care for all Canberrans,” Minister Stephen-Smith said.

All parts of Canberra’s public health system – Canberra Health Services, the ACT Health Directorate and Calvary Public Hospital – remain focused on improving performance to operate more efficiently.

“We know there are areas within the ACT public health system that are not as cost-effective as we could expect when compared to other jurisdictions, as well as areas that perform comparatively well. The ACT Government and the teams at ACT Health and Canberra Health Services are working to identify opportunities to keep improving.

“The priority of the ACT Government and Canberra Health Services is to create an environment where staff feel supported and empowered to deliver exceptional health care.

“Across our health system, staff work incredibly hard every day to ensure Canberrans receive the best possible care. We’ll continue to invest in our health services, infrastructure and staff to deliver better health care, when and where Canberrans need it,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.