29 April 2022

New Molonglo Valley health centre offers free care to women and children

| Evelyn Karatzas
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Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith speaks with pregnancy care patient Grace Sheehan and continuity midwife Felicity Finn

(Left to right) Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith with pregnancy care patient Grace Sheehan and continuity midwife Felicity Finn. Photo: Jed Rainbow.

A new healthcare centre in the Molonglo Valley is offering free pregnancy care, maternal and child health care, women’s health counselling and children’s asthma care appointments.

Canberra Health Services (CHS) at Molonglo is set to be the first of five health centres that the ACT Government plans to open across Canberra in coming years.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the new centres would be part of the Governments ‘care closer to home’ network, which already includes nurse-led walk-in centres, community health centres and child and family health clinics across the territory.

“This centre will support the Molonglo Valley’s growing population, which is expected to surpass 50,000 residents by 2041, and help meet the needs of the many families who live in the area,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“We’re going to start this service with pregnancy care and support with maternal and child health services, which will start in a couple of weeks.

“We also want to work to improve coordination of care between primary care, general practice and our services right across the system, so we’re engaged in a conversation with the community about better integrating care and delivering our Canberra health services closer to home right across our community.

“We will continue to talk to the Molonglo Valley community about what else they want to see of Canberra Health Services here in the Molonglo Valley.”

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Canberra Midwife Felicity Finn said opening CHS at Molonglo would provide the opportunity to better communicate the range of available services in their local community.

“This service in particular will play a really important role for families having a baby and children who have particular needs, initially around asthma care,” Ms Finn said.

“Having maternal and child services moving in here in a couple of weeks particularly responds to the feedback we had from the Molonglo Valley community – they want to see those services for pregnant women, but also young children who are needing their health checks and their immunisations and that kind of thing right here in their community.

“It’s a real opportunity to reinvigorate our conversation with the community about the wide range of health services we provide and how we want to do that closer to home.”

Ms Stephen-Smith said the new health centre would feature six consulting rooms and be operated by a team of highly skilled registered nurses and midwives.

“We expect that Canberra Health Services at Molonglo centre will maintain its focus on providing preventive care and advice, early intervention and the management of acute and chronic complex illnesses,” she said.

“It’s all about ensuring that every Canberran can access the healthcare they need, where and when they need it.”

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Ms Stephen-Smith said the health centre in the Molonglo Valley will provide the community with access to a broader range of health services closer to home than ever before.

“We have been listening to the Molonglo Valley community about what is most needed in this growing community and will be consulting more in the coming months to explore other health services that could be delivered from CHS at Molonglo,” Ms Stephen-Smith.

“This consultation will be part of a broader engagement with Canberrans on the southside about the health services and model of care options for the new Inner South and South Tuggeranong health centres as well as how best to deliver health care closer to home right through all Canberra Health Services facilities, in-reach and outreach services.”

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