ACT Labor to invest $30 million for women’s, children’s and babies’ health

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 is building, through its investments in facilities and people a system with momentum, creating highly-skilled jobs, delivering new services and harnessing world-leading research to provide the next jobs, the next models of care, the next new therapies that will help us live longer, healthier lives.

ACT Labor has invested in beds, adding more beds to our hospitals each year.  Whilst the Liberals ripped beds out of the hospital system when they were last in Government, ACT Labor has steadily increased the capacity of our public hospitals each year.

We believe it is important to invest in state-of-the-art facilities for women, children and babies from Canberra and surrounding areas of NSW.

We have already announced that we will provide $850,000 for a Birth Centre at Calvary Public Hospital for women living in Canberra’s north and review birth projections, particularly for Canberra’s northern suburbs to inform future expansions to maternity services.

And the first ever purpose-built Centenary Hospital for Women and Children is an important part of our $1 billion plus commitment to new health infrastructure which will help maintain the high standard of health and community care provided in Canberra.

Only ACT Labor has a proven record of adding the beds needed for our public hospital system.

But there is more to do.


If re-elected ACT Labor will continue our investment in women’s, children’s and babies’ health investing $30 million to add an extra 19 beds to our Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, increase access to outpatient services and to community-based women and children’s services.

ACT Labor will employ 53 new nurses, 3 doctors plus allied health and support staff.

Policy costings

ACT Labor will provide $29.539 million in recurrent funding for more public hospital beds and services at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children and improved access to community-based services for women and children over the next four years.


ACT Labor to invest $30 million in women, children and babies health


2013 – 2014

2014 -2015

2015 – 2016

2016 – 2017








Women’s and children’s outpatient services






Women’s and Children’s community-based services












The Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

The new hospital brings together services including maternity services, the neonatal intensive care unit, gynaecology and foetal medicine, the birth centre and specialised outpatients services under the one roof.

Construction of the new building was planned in two stages with the first involving a new building surrounding the old Maternity building.  Stage 2 involves a major refurbishment of the existing Maternity building and will be operational in 2013 to coincide with the Centenary of Canberra celebrations.

When Stage 2 opens, the three-storey hospital will provide more beds, more outpatient consult rooms, clinical office space, education and training facilities and family accommodation.


What is included in this new investment in women’s, children’s and babies’ health?

ACT Labor will provide these additional public hospital beds at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children over the next four years.

This will include:

  • 4 new neonatal intensive care unit beds
  • 5 new paediatric inpatient and day-surgery beds
  • 3 new birthing centre / delivery suite beds
  • 1 new foetal medicine unit bed
  • A new 6 bed maternity assessment unit


We will also provide $3.3 million over four years to increase access to outpatient services providing more care options in less acute environments and $1.4 million to increase access to community based women and children’s services at community health centres and in people’s homes.


Why is investment in this area so important?

Demand for health services continues to grow as our population increases.  The number of babies being born in Canberra’s public hospitals is also rising each year and that trend is expected to continue until 2020.  As the main tertiary referral hospital for our region, we service a geographic area much larger than the ACT which also takes in southern New South Wales.

The ACT Labor Government provides a Neonatal Emergency Transfer Service for critically ill newborns, providing safe, timely and effective transport of very unwell babies born in local referring hospital and needing neonatal intensive care at Canberra Hospital.  The neonatal intensive care unit in Canberra looks after about 700 seriously ill babies each year providing a critical service to our region.  By boosting the number of beds, and outpatient and community based services for women, children and babies, we will meet growing demand for these important health services.


What are the benefits?

Women, children and babies will benefit through additional available capacity in our Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, as well as increased access to community based care at home or in our community health centres.

We are also implementing new models of care (the way care is delivered) in our recently opened hospital which will mean more women and babies can access these new services.  This includes new maternity services with increased options for continuity of care.

More critically ill babies will benefit from the family-centred model of care for our new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Under this new model, babies will be looked after in two-cot rooms allowing staff to individualise light and reduce noise to ensure an appropriate and unique environment for the recovery and development of each individual baby.

A new maternity assessment unit at Canberra Hospital will also provide for more rapid transfer of women to high level obstetric care.  This will also allow quicker assessment of women who attend the hospital in an emergency situation, minimising delays to specialist care.

Only ACT Labor will deliver the increase in capacity that our public hospitals need to meet the continuing growing demand for hospital services.