Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 31 May 2001

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Parliamentary Record 28


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Thursday 31 May 2001 an integrated care and pre-school education centre at Jingili primary school. During this period due to individual circumstances there was a loss of 202 places, something to be expected within an area of community services or the business sector. The delivery of a broader range of childrens care and family support services from a single site is currently being piloted in Moulden and in Alice Springs. These services will include after school care, playgroups, parenting information and support, child care, pre-school education programs, and health screening and promotional activities. $135 000 recurrent is provided for this service. Child care centre fees remain the most affordable in Australia due, in part, to the provision of the NT Child Day Care subsidy. This was boosted by $7 a week per child for babies under two years under the plan, at an annual cost of $200 000. Service quality has been promoted through the incorporation of National Child Care Centre Minimum Standards in NT legislation and the release of the NT guidelines for outside school hours care services. Providers of outside school hours care services have also improved access to financial and business management training and support to operate within school facilities. Private and public capital expenditure on child care facilities during this period is in the order of $ 10.37m, while employment has expanded by an estimated 300 full-time equivalent positions. Turnover within the sector has increased by $8.5m or some 47% during this time. This is a brief overview of some of the achievements to date in childrens services. In the next sittings I intend to outline further initiatives that will build on the considerable progress achieved over the last four years. Primary Health Care, Urban. This government, despite the knocking of the Labor opposition, was proud to commission Stage 1 of the Palmerston Health Precinct in January this year. The precinct provides updated facilities for the Community Care Centre and the St John Ambulance transport service, 24-hour family medical services, specialist medical services, allied health services and pharmacy, pathology, radiology and dental services. The co- location on the precinct site of the above services with the Terrace Gardens Aged Care Facility, formally Chan Park, enables Palmerston and Litchfield residents to access a broad range of services locally. In later stages, the Family and Childrens Services office, the multipurpose group facilities, and a post-acute stepdown facility will be included. Funding has also been provided for management of the building and the grounds and the relocation of the Community Care Centre and St John Ambulance transport service. The funding is included in the Community Health output group. The burden of chronic diseases such as heart disease, obstructive airways disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes is growing. The Preventable Chronic Disease strategy is a great example of the Northern Territory leading in innovative approaches to reducing the projected increase of people with chronic diseases and reducing the projected financial and community impact. Over the next two years, a minimum of $1.4m per annum will be directed to supporting chronic disease programs in remote communities. Funding for these programs has come through the recognition by the Commonwealth of the difficulties in accessing pharmaceutical services in remote areas. Territory Health Services is administering the changes, and access to medicines through this scheme to the THS-funded and THS-managed remote Aboriginal health services throughout the Northern Territory. The funding will improve the level of care for people with chronic diseases through the employment of Preventable Chronic Disease Care Coordinators in larger remote population centres and preventable chronic disease support teams for small communities. These initiatives will strengthen the capability of community health centres to run comprehensive chronic disease programs involving prevention, early intervention and best practice management. Improved access can make a difference. In particular, improved access to prevention, intervention and management programs for chronic diseases for Aboriginal men in Central Australia will make a difference to the health of men in this area. The quality and effectiveness of remote area chronic disease programs will be enhanced through better coordination of care and linkage of primary health care services. Improvements in the management of chronic disease medications and provision of information and advice about drugs are also part of the quality improvements in health care. The additional budget allocation to support the chronic disease programs in remote communities is included in the Community Health output group. Our capital works program recognises the importance of improving and ensuring our facilities are able to meet the demands placed on our health services by Territorians. The Royal Darwin Hospital Redevelopment Project includes new accident and emergency facilities, operating theatres, intensive care and coronary care units and a high dependence unit, a 7791