Tara's Thoughts

Labor election commitments: Health

September 14, 2016

Health has always been a priority for ACT Labor and we are continuing to invest.

In the last week, ACT Labor has made a number of election commitments including:

  • A $650 million investment in Canberra Hospital
    • A Surgical Procedures, Interventional Radiology and Emergency Centre with a new emergency department and increased operating theatres (with separate emergency and elective surgery theatres to avoid the bumping of procedures)
    • An emergency department that caters solely to women and children
    • 107 new staff at the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, as well as a child and adolescent mental health facility
  • Two new mobile dental vans which will visit residential aged care facilities, special schools, the early morning centre and other vulnerable communities
  • Two more free nurse walk-in centres (like what we’ve got here in Belconnen) in Weston Creek and Gungahlin
  • A clinical school at the University of Canberra to train nurses and allied health professionals, as well as $1 million each year for three years to fund research into cancer, diabetes, cardiology, mental health, dementia, population health and palliative care
  • A $12 million capital grant to Winnunga Nimmityjah so that it can build a modern, fit-for-purpose health clinic
  • Employing and training more nurses, including with a new course at the University of Canberra and more nurse scholarships
  • Preventative health initiatives, including expanding the water refill stations and offering free meningococcal B vaccinations for every baby and free antenatal whooping cough vaccinations for pregnant women in their third trimester


Of a deep personal interest to me has been the announcement on organ donation: ACT Labor wants to hit an organ donation rate in the ACT of 90 per cent. $200,000 will be provided for an opt-in model linked to your driver licence renewal (and you can opt out if you choose). It will be accompanied by an awareness raising campaign as well as a national garden of thanks at the Arboretum to help remove the stigma of donating.

I signed up to be an organ donor soon after I turned 16 when I spotted a form while waiting with one of my parents at Medicare. Registering was easy and it prompted me to have the important conversation with my family about my wishes if I died – helping remove any ambiguity if they were faced with that decision. It’s a great initiative.