ACT Labor investing in health - Calvary Public Hospital

On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people inAustralia.Every year we are investing record levels of funding in our community, building a stronger local health system, investing in better schools and teachers, maintaining a strong local economy and creating more local jobs than ever before.

Right now ACT Labor is investing $1.3 billion each year to make our health system even stronger and deliver health care where and when it’s needed.

CalvaryPublicHospitalis an important part of our local hospital network, providing general acute care services for residents in northCanberraand across the ACT and surrounding NSW.The care provided at the Bruce campus complements the services provided byCanberraHospitalas the main tertiary referral hospital for our region.  Whilst the ACT Government does not operateCalvaryHospital, it does fund the hospital to provide public health services.As demand for hospital services grows, particularly in our north,CalvaryPublicHospitalis key to managing increased presentations and demand for health care. In 2011-12 Calvary Hospital provided 4,675 of the 11,336 elective surgery procedures in the ACT.

ACT Labor has invested in more doctors, more nurses and more beds every year across both our public hospitals.

This year we funded a further 10 inpatient beds, five Hospital in the Home beds and a community midwifery program atCalvaryHospital.

We have built a new 16 bed state-of-the-art critical care unit atCalvaryPublicHospitalproviding intensive care, high dependency and coronary care services in this term. We have also set up an older persons’ mental health unit.

But there’s more to do.

If re-elected, ACT Labor will invest in 69 more beds, more than 100 doctors and nurses and new services at Calvary Public Hospital.

Our commitment will help meet the demand for public hospital services in the rapidly growing suburbs in our cities north.

It means we will deliver new types of health care never before offered in the north, and extend existing services.


Policy costings

ACT Labor will provide 54 additional general inpatient beds at Calvary Hospital at a cost of $48m over four years to meet the needs of our growing northern suburbs.

A new medical Rapid Assessment and Planning Unit will also be established as part of a new emergency response service for people who present at the emergency department with more complex conditions. This will add a further 8 beds.

We will also fund 2 critical care beds and 12 bed equivalents for the Hospital in the Home (HITH) program.

In order to care for people using these additional beds, we will employ an additional 13 doctors, 99 nurses and 12 allied health and support staff.

We will expand the psychogeriatric service with an additional 5 beds.

We will also expand ophthalmology services to increase access to services to manage macular degeneration.

ACT Labor will also provide $850,000 in capital funding to establish a new Birth Centre at Calvary Public Hospital.  It will mean for the first time women on the north side can access midwifery led care in state of the art birthing facilities closer to home.

ACT Labor investing in health – Calvary Public Hospital

Recurrent Initiative






General inpatient beds






Rapid Assessment Unit






Additional ED Physicians












Critical care beds






Expanded ophthalmology service






Expand psychogeriatric service






Birth Centre (capital)












Note: Totals may not add due to rounding

How do we deliver public health services from Calvary?

In 2011 the ACT Labor Government signed a new suite of agreements with Little Company of Mary Health Care – the operators ofCalvaryPublicHospital.  These agreements set out a new collaborative approach to the planning and delivery of health care services.  The agreements confirmed that Calvary would operate thePublicHospitalas a network service provider and that the Territory would continue to allocate funds toCalvaryHospitalfor the delivery of services.

These agreements have enabled the development of a Precinct Master Plan for the site which will set out how the Bruce campus can be developed to meet future health needs for the ACT.  They also outline the Territory’s intention to resume private hospital beds throughout the redevelopment of the ACT health system in order to expand public services.


How will this additional investment deliver better health care for Canberrans?

The additional beds will help meet growing demand for public hospital services, particularly in our rapidly growing northern suburbs.  It means we can deliver new types of care to better meet the specific needs of our community and extend services already available.   Some of these beds could be designated as dedicated stroke beds with a view to developing a fully networked stroke service across our two public hospitals.  This will see better outcomes for the community as well as create efficiencies in the delivery of stroke services within the ACT.

The ACT is also facing growing demand for ophthalmology services, particular the management of macular degeneration – the leading cause of blindness inAustralia which affects the central vision.  The condition is primarily age related and with an ageing population, demand for services is only going to continue to rise.

With increasing demands for hospital services, ACT Labor is also committed to boosting the number of ‘bed equivalents’ under the Hospital in the Home program.

This is an inpatient service providing acute hospital substitution for patients of the Canberraregion.  It enables patients to receive care from nurses in their home.  It helps take the pressure off our hospital campus by improving the flow of patients through our hospital and enabling patients to go home and be treated in a familiar environment, where clinically appropriate.

The establishment of a Birth Centre for use by the continuity of care program will enable women to access midwife led care options on the north side ofCanberra.  We know that continuity of care models produce good outcomes for women and that many women are increasingly keen to have this type of care during pregnancy and birth.  Until now, this option has only been available on the south side ofCanberra meaning women living in the northern suburbs have had to travel further.