The fifth and final nurse-led walk-in centre is to be co-located at the Community Health Centre in the Dickson Group Centre.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in a pre-budget statement at the weekend that the $9.8 million centre would be ready to take patients in late 2020.
Mr Barr said the existing Dickson Community Health Centre would be upgraded, with four treatment rooms added for the new walk-in centre within the building’s existing footprint.
It would complement the existing services provided at the Community Health Centre, which includes Maternal and Child Health (MACH) services.
Weekly NewsletterEvery Thursday afternoon, we package up the most-read and trending RiotACT stories of the past seven days and deliver straight to your inbox..
Locating the centre in Dickson near the new light rail transport route would make it easy and convenient to access, Mr Barr said.
Construction of Canberra’s fourth walk-in centre in Weston Creek is under way and it is due to open by the end of this year.
There are already centres in Belconnen, Tuggeranong and the new one in Gungahlin.
The centres provide free and convenient health care for non-urgent injuries or illnesses such as coughs and colds or cuts and abrasions from minor accidents, but have been criticised by the medical profession and the Opposition as too expensive and a waste of money.
But Mr Barr said the walk-in centres were more popular than ever, with the Belconnen and Tuggeranong centres now seeing over 22,500 patients a year.
Since the new Gungahlin centre opened six months ago, it had already seen over 10,000 patients.
“Giving Canberrans access to nurse-led care not only means they can get seen sooner for these injuries or illnesses, but also helps take pressure off our Emergency Departments,” he said.
“This $9.8 million investment for the Inner North Walk-in Centre fully delivers on our commitment to grow the network of centres across Canberra to five, and is a Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement item.
“By delivering more great community health care facilities today, we are growing the services and infrastructure Canberrans will need for better health and wellbeing in the years to come.”
Executive Director of the Health Care Consumers’ Association Darlene Cox welcomed the investment.
“The walk-in centres are a highly valued part of our health system,” Ms Cox said.
“We are very pleased to see Government investment to build on the existing number of walk-in centres and provide access to this service for the growing population of the Inner North.”