4 September 2023

Location and expected opening date of South Tuggeranong health hub announced

| Travis Radford
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three politicians with artist's impression

Chief Minister Andrew Barr, Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith and Minister for Planning and Land Management Mick Gentleman with an artist’s impression of the community health centre. Photo: Travis Radford.

Conder has been announced as the location of the first of four new community health centres planned to address an increase in chronic and complex illnesses and an ageing population.

A tender has been released for the design of the South Tuggeranong centre, which is expected to progress to the development application stage by the first half of 2024 and open in 2025.

Early designs for the facility include 12 consultation rooms and flexible spaces for non-government organisations to deliver what’s described as a multidisciplinary approach to health care.

The site opposite St Clare of Assisi Primary School in Conder was selected because of its proximity to arterial roads, public transport routes, car parking and other existing health services.

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Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new facility would deliver a range of services typical of community health centres, including podiatry, dentistry, mental health, maternity and child health care. However, she said the government would also be consulting with local clinicians and residents to tailor the centre’s services to the needs of the South Tuggeranong community.

“We know in South Tuggeranong the average age is higher than in some of the other, newer suburbs,” she said. “We also know children and young people in South Tuggeranong don’t always have access to services they need, and we’ve been liaising with some of our non-government partners, including Directions Health Care, which runs the team clinic over at Mura Lanyon.

“They were talking about [how] adolescents in South Tuggeranong don’t necessarily go into the city, where The Junction [Youth Health Service] is located, or even into Woden Town Centre.”

Sites have not yet been finalised for the three other community health centres committed to during the 2020 election and later allocated $16.6 million in the 2023-24 ACT Budget.

However, Minister Stephen-Smith said a site near the Griffith shops for the Inner South community health centre, and a site close to the Casey Group Centre for the North Gungahlin community health centre, were under consideration. No exact sites have been considered for the West Belconnen community health centre, but she said either Ginninderry or Kippax was a likely option.

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Minister Stephen-Smith said setting up these health centres closer to where people lived would also help address feedback that the whole ACT health system was “not easy to navigate”.

“This is really about ensuring that we’re providing comprehensive care for the people of the ACT [and] that we’re keeping people well and out of hospital wherever possible,” she said.

“We’re doing that in a way that engages with their general practitioners and primary carers to ensure that people have a genuinely integrated experience of our ACT health system.”

Minister Stephen-Smith also noted the ACT Government had established a paediatric liaison and navigation service and was establishing a similar version of the service to support adults with complex needs to better coordinate their health care.

“We’ll be building a system where we can combine the [adult] patient liaison and navigation service … with GP incentives,” she said.

“[That will] support them to provide wraparound service to people and also coordinated care, with our community health centres and hospitals.”

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