Health services over the Christmas break

johnboy 22 December 2011 1

Chief Minister Gallagher is giving notice of what you can get should your Christmas go pear shaped on the health front:

ACT Public Hospitals

The Emergency Departments at both Canberra Hospital and Calvary Hospital will operate as normal.

Elective surgery will be scaled back over the period as in previous years to enable staff to take leave and this will occur again these holidays. The following arrangements are in place:

— Emergency surgery will be available at all times;
— Category 1 elective surgery will continue unchanged; and
— For less urgent elective surgery categories, full activity will resume on 30 January 2012.

Outpatient Services will only have appointments available for urgent cases from 23 December 2011 to 11 January 2012.

The fracture plastics clinic will only be open for emergencies on 29 December 2011 with full activity resuming on 3 January 2012.

For information on service availability contact the Canberra hospital switchboard on (02) 6244 2222 or (02) 6201 6111 for Calvary Hospital.

Community Services

Community Health Intake will be closed from 24 to 27 December 2011 and again on 2 January 2012. Civic, Phillip, Tuggeranong and Belconnen Health Services will open on 28 and 29 December 2011.

Dental clinics will be closed until 3 January 2011 however emergency clinics will operate at Phillip Health Centre on 24, 28 and 30 December 2011. These sessions can be accessed by phoning 6205 1653.

Necessary community nursing services for priority patients will be provided on all public holidays.

Mental Health

Mental Health Triage provides a 24-hour, 7 days a week telephone screening/assessment and referral service for ACT residents who have a mental illness, their families and their carers.

Mental Health Triage will be operational every day of the Christmas period and will refer to the Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team or other services as appropriate.

Call Mental Health Triage on 1800 629 354 (free call except from mobiles or public phones) or phone (02) 6205 1065 and will operate 24 hours, seven days per week.

For other health issues, please call the following numbers:

— Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222 to speak with a registered nurse 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit the Health Directorate website:
— Urgent medical assistance – 000
— Lifeline – 13 11 14
— Drug and Alcohol 24 hour help line – (02) 6205 4545
— Relationships Australia – 6281 3600
— Australian Breastfeeding Association – 1800 686 268
— Parentline ACT – 02 6287 3833 (9am – 9pm Mon – Fri)
— Karitane Mothercraft Society 1800 677 961 (24hrs)
— Tresillian Parent Helpline (02) 9787 0855 (24hrs)

For comprehensive online emergency information visit:

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One Response to Health services over the Christmas break
dpm dpm 11:04 am 22 Dec 11

So a lot of elective surgery resourcing is only ‘active’ for around 11 months of the year. Probably helps explain the backlog…..
Do other jurisdictions also shut up shop for the Xmas hols ‘month’? Or is it just us who can’t schedule staff holidays to allow ongoing services throughout the year?

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