The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has announced its 2024–25 budget funding to help expand paediatric health services in Canberra.

The government aims to enhance inpatient care and community-based services for children and young people, including the addition of eight paediatric beds at Canberra Hospital.

Canberra Hospital is set to benefit from the funding with the establishment of a new paediatric critical care team.

This team will be instrumental in providing specialised care and improving the coordination and upskilling of staff in paediatric critical care. Their role will be pivotal in treating and caring for critically ill children and young people.

The funding will also facilitate the expansion of multidisciplinary rehabilitation services for children with chronic and complex conditions.

This initiative aims to create a more sustainable and integrated model of care, which will be shared between local and interstate hospitals.

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Furthermore, the budget will enhance support for critically ill newborns by adding additional cots to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Special Care Nursery at Canberra Hospital.

In a move to make paediatric services more accessible, the ACT Government plans to establish a new location to provide community-based paediatric services.

This will provide easier access for families of children with developmental delays or certain health conditions, allowing them to receive necessary services outside of a hospital environment.

These investments are part of a broader strategy to implement actions from the Child and Adolescent Clinical Services Plan 2023–2030.

They also coincide with the opening of dedicated paediatric critical care spaces in the new Critical Services Building at Canberra Hospital and build upon previous government investments in paediatric services and the expansion of the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.

Last month, the ACT Government commenced the search for contractors to build the new northside hospital at the site of the Calvary Public Hospital in Bruce, Canberra, which it took over last year.