Mr GUYULA to MINISTER for HEALTH
The government has promised $11.1m over 10 years for our new renal centre in Darwin and two new renal ready rooms in remote communities. Where will the renal ready rooms be built and why has the government not opted for renal centres that would lower patient travel expenses, lower economic disadvantages to patients and, generally, the burden on the system? Is this Darwin-centric model of renal health use sustainable?
Madam Speaker, Budget 2017 as mentioned will be delivering services particularly for critical health infrastructure around renal services not only for here in our urban centres in Darwin with the new renal unit to be rebuilt on the site in Nightcliff. I have been to the renal unit a couple of times. I was out there last week. It is a very outdated building. It was not purpose-built.
I think it was built as a community care baby centre and when you enter that space there is a lack of privacy, it is very dysfunctional for staff and patients alike. Our hardworking staff out there do a fabulous job-and I would like to pay tribute to them-in sometimes very trying conditions. We need to provide a building which currently has 28 chairs as well as the outreach unit there were people who have done training can give themselves their own dialysis.
This government is committed through the funding of a new $9.7 for a purpose- built facility on that site in Nightcliff. It is very important that we acknowledge that location in Nightcliff / Coconut Grove. It is close to transport, to housing support for those who do have to come in from out of Darwin to receive that treatment. It is something I was very proud to be a part of, to provide that service for Territorians who need that vital life-saving treatment multiple times a week but also to our very hardworking staff there.
As the member has mentioned, $1.4m has been allocated to establish two renal ready rooms to increase access to dialysis in remote communities. The member touched on it in his question, highlighting that if people can receive treatment in community they do not have to travel, and there are perhaps additional housing costs if they have to come into town for an extended period.
We are certainly through an evidence-based approach around a 10-year renal strategy for the Northern Territory and will look towards where those locations should be, where best serves the community. We want to provide more health services across the Northern Territory so Territorians can stay close to home and family.
When you are or have been diagnosed with an illness and you require ongoing medical treatment the one thing you wish for is to closer to home and family and perhaps keep working. In providing health care we want to provide health care in community across the Northern Territory. We are committed to providing those services. We are also committed to transitioning what are currently government community clinics across to community-led control over our four years of government.
We are very pleased to announce the $9.7m for the Nightcliff Renal Unit and $1.4m to establish two renal ready rooms in remote communities in the Northern Territory.