ACT Labor to continue to build our world class health system

On average, Canberrans are the best educated, best paid and healthiest people in Australia.

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.

ACT Labor has been building up our health services right across the ACT with new services, new buildings including community health centres, more doctors and more nurses.  Right now ACT Labor invests more than $1 billion each year to make our health system even stronger and deliver health care where and when it’s needed.ACT Labor is committed to building the health system we need for the future.

This Health Infrastructure Program (HIP) is a ten year, $1 billion plus infrastructure program designed to completely overhaul our health system and deliver new and exciting health facilities, new services and new ways of providing care to patients.

It involves designing and constructing contemporary, state of the art health facilities that will serve the Canberra community well into the future.  Through this program we are creating a modern health system that will meet increasing demand, provide therapeutic places for healing and contemporary workplaces that will attract and retain the highest quality staff.

The work to inform this program began in 2007 when the ACT Labor Government undertook an exhaustive investigation into the expected future health service needs of the ACT community. This investigation identified a combination of a growing, ageing and ailing population, technological changes and community preferences driving strong growth in demand for health services over the decade.

To date, the ACT Labor Government has committed a total of $730 million to undertake important health infrastructure projects.  The HIP has already delivered a range of new high quality facilities including Stage 1 of the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, a nurse-led Walk in Centre, a new Gungahlin Community Health Centre and a new Adult Mental Health Unit.

The HIP is in fact the biggest ever infrastructure project in the ACT since self-government and only ACT Labor has this track record of delivering state-of-the-art health infrastructure across all areas of health care.  But there is more to do.

That’s why a re-elected ACT Labor Government will continue this program of investment in contemporary health facilities. We are committed to the program to ensure we continue to deliver the right services, to the right people, in the right places.

A re-elected ACT Labor Government will allocate $250 million to continue the Health Infrastructure Program.  That’s on top of the $400 million already committed in the 2012-13 Budget for health capital works and ICT projects over the forward estimates.


Policy costings

ACT Labor will commit $250 million in capital funding over four years to continue to deliver the health system we need for the future and progress our priority projects.


ACT Labor’s plan to continue to build our world class health system

  2013 – 2014 2014 -2015 2015 – 2016 2016 – 2017 TOTAL
Capital $40m $40m $70m $100m $250m
Total $40m $40m $70m $100m $250m


What will the funding deliver?

Over the next four years, ACT Labor will allocate a further $250 million to the Health Infrastructure Program.


ACT Labor’s priorities include:

  • An $850,000 Birth Centre at Calvary Public Hospital;
  • $5 million to expand the nurse-led Walk-in Centre model to Tuggeranong and Belconnen;
  • Progressing the University of Canberra Public Hospital (sub acute and rehabilitation hospital) including exploring delivery models such as potential partnerships with industry;
  • Approximately $20 million to fit out new wards and facilities to house the additional beds and services at Calvary Hospital and the additional inpatient beds at Canberra Hospital;
  • Additional car parking at Calvary and Canberra Hospital;
  • A Secure Mental Health Unit and adolescent mental health inpatient beds;
  • A new City Community Health Centre; and
  • A new clinical services building at TCH.


During the next term of Government, ACT Labor will also finalise and complete a range of projects already funded including:


  • Stage 2 of the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children which will deliver a major refurbishment of the old maternity services building to create an integrated and expanded hospital;
  • A $51.3 million Belconnen Community Health Centre to provide a higher level of community based services, including some services that will move away from their current location on the hospital campus (currently under construction);
  • A $19 million upgrade of Tuggeranong Community Health Centre that will deliver new types of care into the future (temporary relocation plans underway);
  • A $17.27 million Central Sterilising Unit to be conveniently located on the Canberra Hospital campus and replace ageing off-site infrastructure (planning commenced);
  • A $44.6 million Canberra Regional Cancer Centre (currently under construction) bringing together cancer related clinical services, associated research and teaching programs, and clinical offices. The centre will also accommodate clinical haematology and immunology services and provide more co-ordinated cancer care to the people of the Canberra region;
  • An 8 bed Medi-hotel, funded in the 2012-13 Budget; and
  • Emergency Department expansions at both Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital (construction expected to commence late 2012).


Our commitment builds on the significant investments ACT Labor has already made in health facilities over the past four years.


Projects ACT Labor has already delivered under the HIP include:

  • Stage 1 of the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children co-locating all women’s, obstetric, and newborn health services within a single building;
  • Additional operating theatres at Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital;
  • A new Gungahlin Community Health Centre to provide services to Gungahlin residents close to where they live;
  • A new critical care unit at Calvary Public Hospital providing a 16 bed service, including intensive care, high dependency and coronary care services;
  • Australia’s first public nurse-led Walk-in Centre;
  • An new 40 bed Adult Mental Health Unit;
  • A Mental Health Assessment Unit providing quick access to specialised mental health assessment within a safe and appropriate environment for mental health clients who present to the emergency departments;
  • A Medical Assessment and Planning Unit and a Surgical Assessment and Planning Unit which provide for quick transfer to expert care for people who present at emergency departments with complex care needs;
  • A PET/CT medical imaging service to provide imaging services with greater diagnostic accuracy that reduces the need for ACT cancer patients to travel interstate;
  • A new 1813 space multistorey car park at Canberra Hospital to better meet the needs of staff and visitors at that site;
  • A state of the art neurosurgery suite with intra-operative MRI capacity that allows surgeons to safely image patients in the operating theatre during brain surgery;
  • Four nurse-led treatment bays at Canberra Hospital Emergency Department;
  • A new Discharge Lounge at Canberra Hospital to improve the flow of patients, freeing up space on the wards for new patients sooner while giving discharge patients a comfortable place to wait;
  • A Sleep Laboratory to provide patients with a sleep assessment to better diagnose sleep disorders;
  • A new complex eye surgery service and a head and neck trauma service, further reducing the need for ACT residents to travel interstate; and
  • Duffy residential accommodation for interstate cancer patients and their families

ACT Labor will continue to build on this impressive record over the next four years by responding to increasing demand and developing new and better ways of providing services to Canberrans in the right place at the right time.

Only ACT Labor has a solid track record of investment and innovation in our health system.  Only ACT Labor is committed to a strong, sustainable and accessible public health system for all Canberrans.