Outlook for 2014-15

Although there are many challenges in the year ahead, 2014-15 promises to be another year of growth and achievement for ACT Health.

Despite significant changes to Commonwealth funding for health and hospital services as announced in the federal budget in May 2014, continued investment in health by the ACT Government will see recurrent spending approach $1.4 billion.

There will be additional endoscopy services and elective surgery, including public bariatric surgical services for the first time in the ACT.

More beds will be opened at Canberra Hospital, Calvary Public Hospital and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children. This will be complemented by additional resources for the emergency departments at both Canberra Hospital and Calvary Public Hospital and for Belconnen and Tuggeranong Community Health Centres. Walk-in centres will now operate at both of these sites, meeting the needs of the community for treatment of one-off minor injuries and illnesses.

The newly opened Canberra Regional Cancer Centre will also receive a boost in staffing levels.

There will be continued expansion of community nursing and ambulatory care services at Canberra Hospital, expansion of community-based mental health services and further investment in suicide prevention services and lymphoedema services.

Along with this investment in additional staff and services, we will be working to transform our services, through service innovation and redesign, to deliver the most care in the most cost-efficient and effective way. Working collaboratively with healthcare consumers and the primary care sector will be central to achieving this objective, and the launch of Health Pathways will be a key milestone, signalling new ways of working across the spectrum of care.

This approach will complement the work done on models of care through the Health Infrastructure Program. The continued investment in new e-health services will also support the transformation of service delivery.

Under the Health Infrastructure Program, work will commence on construction of the Calvary car park and the Secure Mental Health Unit as well as the University of Canberra Public Hospital at Bruce. A dedicated area for paediatrics within the Emergency Department at Canberra Hospital will also be progressed, along with a range of staging and decanting projects.

Post-occupancy evaluations will also be delivered on the Adult Mental Health Unit, the Mental Health Assessment Unit and Gungahlin Community Health Centre to inform our continuing developments under the Health Infrastructure Program.

The Healthy Weight Initiative will remain a key focus for ACT Health as part of the whole-of-government initiative to reduce the of growth in obesity in our population.

Importantly, ACT Health will undergo an accreditation survey against the National Health and Safety Standards in May 2015.