There’s nothing online yet from the Chief Minister but the local ALP and labor types are all linking to an ABC story on Katy Gallagher announcing more nurse-led Walk-In Centres for Belconnen and Tuggeranong (So that will have to do, 2CC types can make what they will of that).
The centre based at The Canberra Hospital provides a free health service for people with minor illnesses and injuries 7 days a week.
Almost 15,200 people have been treated at the centre since it opened in May last year.
ACT Labor is promising to expand the centre to Belconnen and Tuggeranong if it wins next October’s election.
It says that will provide people in the north and south of Canberra with easy access to a free and highly skilled nursing service.
Labor would boost funding for the centres by $10 million over four years and has committed an extra $5 million towards capital costs to have the centres operational by 2013.
One imagines the centres will work very differently when they’re not right next door to the hospital.
UPDATE: ACT Labor has now put a statement up to demonstrate this really is the start of the election campaign.
“The ACT Labor Government has worked hard to deliver innovative solutions in health care. In May 2010, this Government opened Australia’s first ever public nurse-led Walk-in Centre at Canberra Hospital,” Ms Gallagher said.
“Since then, the Centre has treated more than 15,000 people, filling a gap in the delivery of free, extended hours health care in Canberra.
“For some families, the cost of accessing after-hours health services is a significant burden when faced with an unexpected accident, illness or injury. Low bulk billing rates also add to that pressure, so the Walk-in Centre has filled a gap for some people.
“ACT Labor believes that the Walk-in Centre model would work well within other community settings by making free, high quality primary health care services more available for minor illnesses and injuries.
“That’s why we’re committing today to double funding for Walk-in Centres and expand this service to Belconnen and Tuggeranong,” Ms Gallagher said.
A re-elected Labor Government will provide an additional $10 million over four years to support the expansion of services, as well as a further $5 million towards potential capital costs.