Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Update on hydrotherapy services

November 28, 2019

The ACT Government is calling for Expressions of Interest from interested parties for the provision of a public hydrotherapy pool located in Canberra’s south.

Earlier this year, the ACT Government commissioned Nous Group to review hydrotherapy services in the ACT.

The Access to Hydrotherapy in the ACT Report made four recommendations including that the “ACT Health Directorate should conduct a study of the costs and benefits and different models for the longer-term establishment of a hydrotherapy facility in the south of Canberra.”

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said this market sounding process will help the government to identify non-government organisations who may be interested in working with the ACT Government in the development of a new hydrotherapy pool.

“This may be by way of the development and operation of a hydrotherapy pool at a new or existing facility, or the expansion of services at a facility with an existing hydrotherapy pool.

“This process will take account of the very clear finding from Nous’ work and the community feedback, that any new hydrotherapy pool should not be based at a hospital or acute health facility, but rather in a community setting.

“This recognises hydrotherapy as an ongoing therapeutic activity for many people with chronic illness or chronic pain to maintain their mobility, manage their pain and gain important mental health benefits.

“Any new public hydrotherapy facility on the southside of the ACT would complement the public facility operating at the University of Canberra Hospital, in Canberra's north, as well as other private facilities across the ACT.

“The closure of the hydrotherapy pool at Canberra Hospital is not a decision that has been taken lightly. ACT Health will continue to work with Arthritis ACT to ensure that alternative services are available in both the short and long term,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Canberra Health Services has extended the pool user agreement with Arthritis ACT until 31 December 2019.

Expressions of Interest will close 14 February 2020.