The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) government has allocated a further A$17m ($11m) for the expansion of emergency services and critical care at Canberra Hospital.

This expansion project is set to enhance emergency department capabilities and increase the number of operating theatres and treatment spaces.

The new Critical Services Building, a key component of this project, is on schedule to open in the third quarter of the year.

This additional capital injection will introduce two triage points within the new Emergency Department, staffed with additional triage nurses and administrative personnel, to reduce waiting times.

A new Behavioural Assessment Unit will also be established within the Emergency Department, featuring a six-bed unit with a special team of doctors and nurses.

Additionally, the funding will be used for the creation of a bigger medical emergency team, which will be bolstered by more advanced practice nurses and a new nurse practitioner position to support critically unwell patients across the expanded acute care facilities.

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The expansion also encompasses adding a new MRI machine in the Critical Services Building, which will expand medical imaging services and increase the number of scans performed each week.

This fresh funding builds on over A$122m investment to set up the Critical Services Building in the 2023-24 ACT budget.

Beyond the physical infrastructure, the ACT government dedicates A$27m to improve benefits for nursing, midwifery, and allied health specialists.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said: “The ACT Government will continue to deliver new and upgraded health infrastructure across the ACT to meet the growing and changing needs of our community.

“We are building and upgrading hospitals, opening more health centres, and investing more in our Walk-in Centres so every Canberran can access the right care in the right place and at the right time.”