Petition launched to keep Canberra Hospital hydrotherapy pool open

Ian Bushnell 29 April 2019 23

The Canberra Hospital hydrotherapy pool and users. Photo: Supplied.

Liberal MLA Giulia Jones has launched a petition in a bid to prevent the looming closure of the Canberra Hospital hydrotherapy pool.

With the opening of the new facility at the University of Canberra Hospital at Bruce, the ACT Government has slated the pool for closure in June.

But users on the south side say travelling to Bruce is a difficult proposition, especially for those with mobility issues.

They also say it is not heated to the correct temperature of 34 degrees Celsius and is not as accessible as the one at the Canberra Hospital.

The Canberra Liberals say the Government had said that the pool would not close until June 2020, when a new hydrotherapy pool at the Stromlo Leisure Centre was opened.

“The ACT Labor-Greens Government promised on multiple occasions that a suitable replacement would be built at the Stromlo Leisure Centre. Now, the Government has broken this promise, telling south side residents to go to the UC hydrotherapy pool in Belconnen, which does not have the same size or heating requirements,” Ms Jones said.

“The pool isn’t falling apart. I am calling on the Government to hold off closing the pool until they have an appropriate alternative for people.”

Hydrotherapy pool user Joan Keith says she can’t walk a block without stopping to puff but in the hydrotherapy pool she can walk for an hour.

“I would give myself probably a month before I have to go on to a walking frame,” she said.

Health Minister Meegan Fitzharris has said that a new state-of-the-art hydrotherapy pool at the UC Hospital will better meet the needs of the ACT community.

“The new hydrotherapy pool at UCH will feature enhanced access compared to the current facility at Canberra Hospital. It has a smoother entry for wheelchair and ambulatory access, flat surrounding surface and hoist, less maintenance downtime and more accurate and stable temperature controls,” she said last year.

Ms Fitzharris said bringing all of ACT Health’s rehabilitation staff and facilities together in the one place would result in better outcomes for patients.

“Patients will be able to access the hydrotherapy pool, gym and purpose-built therapy courtyards within the same facility. Moving rehabilitation services into the one health facility provides the opportunity to streamline appointments and will save Canberrans from having to travel to various locations across the ACT to access these services,” she said.

She said the Government was working to ensure good access to services, such as public transport, to support those who would be using the new hospital.

“ACT Health is also working with community organisations and service providers who currently use facilities at Canberra Hospital to ensure the transition of these services for their clients is as seamless as possible,” Ms Fitzharris said.

The new pool would be available for therapeutic use out-of-hours by non-ACT Health services and paediatric services, in the same way the as the pool at Canberra Hospital.

Referrals to the new pool can be made by ACT Health clinical staff, physiotherapists, general practitioners, medical practitioners and the UCH intake team.

Comment was sought from the Government.

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23 Responses to Petition launched to keep Canberra Hospital hydrotherapy pool open
hartl3yjess hartl3yjess 2:11 pm 15 May 19

Hartley Hydrotherapy is a well established hydro pool located in Hughes, ACT and is available to members of the public and organisations who may be affected by this pool closure. If you would like further information, please see or contact the pool managers directly on 5100 3264.

Giulia Jones MLA Giulia Jones MLA 9:39 pm 29 Apr 19

Petition available to sign here 👉🏻

Hayley Gray Hayley Gray 9:06 pm 29 Apr 19

I spent a lot of time at TCH hydrotherapy pool, was my saving grace when i couldn't walk a few years back, god knows where I'd be without it. At the time there was such a high demand, im sure it still is. Why cant a hydro pool be available on nth and sth side?

Anne Handberg Anne Handberg 8:57 pm 29 Apr 19

Spent many long hours working in that pool. It provides an essential part of the therapy so many southsiders need

Nari Strange Nari Strange 8:28 pm 29 Apr 19

I know this pool very well and it serves many people who need its therapy services. If it closes, it would be a rather tragic loss for many.

Michael Ahern Michael Ahern 7:18 pm 29 Apr 19

Patients could catch the new transport network from the Southside to Bruce. Multiple bus changes should work great for those with mobility issues.....

Neica Hall Neica Hall 7:09 pm 29 Apr 19

The pools are a long way apart there should be at least one on each side of town.

Terry Butters Terry Butters 6:30 pm 29 Apr 19

So now those in need will spend 2 hours each way travelling by bus to attend the pool in Calvary! Good Stuff(up) Andrew!

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:07 pm 29 Apr 19

    Terry Butters how’s that any different to before when those lnorthsiders in need had to travel to the south?

Jennie McCulloch Jennie McCulloch 6:24 pm 29 Apr 19

Keep it open. Find a benefactor or something.

Sally Pabst-Reeves Sally Pabst-Reeves 6:12 pm 29 Apr 19

And the new bus timetables will ensure anyone in the south will need to allow 90 or more minutes to get there. Why not service both north and southside

Louise Anne Louise Anne 5:28 pm 29 Apr 19

Why can’t we have both? North and South?

Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 5:13 pm 29 Apr 19

The government has long been aware the pool was past its use-by date, so why no action to replace it with a new facility at TCH? Unbelievable that a major hospital will not have a hydro facility to help with rehab of patients etc.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:08 pm 29 Apr 19

    Ed N Joanne Towner maybe because the new hospital is a purpose built rehab hospital!

    Margaret Freemantle Margaret Freemantle 11:07 pm 29 Apr 19

    Ashley Wright that doesn’t help the users of the TCH pool. Lots of people needing rehab!!

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 11:42 pm 29 Apr 19

    Margaret Freemantle all of whom can be accommodated at the new purpose built facility.

    Ed N Joanne Towner Ed N Joanne Towner 7:56 am 30 Apr 19

    Ashley Wright unfortunately that doesn't appear to be the case. There have been people interviewed on radio etc who have been unable to get access due to high usage of the UC facility. If it was meeting the need, the govt would not be in discussion with other potential providers south side to step in when the hydro closes.

Jennie McCulloch Jennie McCulloch 4:16 pm 29 Apr 19

Hydrotherapy has been a really important part of my recovery

David Brown David Brown 3:14 pm 29 Apr 19

Especially now that no bus goes to Calvary

Janet Mulgrue Janet Mulgrue 2:14 pm 29 Apr 19

If the new transport Canberra journey planner is anything to go by they should be fine. It well tell them to ride a bike to the nearest bus stop, sit on a bus for a couple of hours going round the suburbs and then ride the bike the rest of the way. The Baaaar government have no idea about how people live in the real world

Kerrie Buitendam Kerrie Buitendam 2:10 pm 29 Apr 19

Impossible to get there as no public transport and one would not be going to hydro unless it was for health benefits

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