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Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Page: 8111

Ms KATE ELLIS (AdelaideMinister for Employment Participation and Minister for Early Childhood and Childcare) (16:03): Since my election in 2004 as the member for Adelaide, I have made clear that my priority is fighting for a fair health system for the people I am lucky enough to represent. This is because I know that there is absolutely nothing which is more important to the people in our local community in Adelaide than looking after their and their families' healthcare needs. It is why I am proud to be part of a government which is delivering a stronger and fairer health system for all Australians. Through our National Health Reform Agreement, we are providing more money, more beds and more doctors and nurses, while at the same time we are cutting the waste and the waiting lists. I know that our reforms are delivering the health care that the people of Adelaide deserve and, of course, we always continue to work to bring about more reform.

In the last couple of weeks, I was pleased to welcome to Adelaide my ministerial colleague the Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, to highlight some of the investments which we are putting in place to make a real difference in the lives of our local community. One of those, of which I am incredibly proud, was the $15 million that the government pledged prior to the last election to build a new children's cancer centre at the Women's and Children's Hospital in North Adelaide. In partnership with the South Australian government, the Women's and Children's Hospital Foundation and the wonderful Little Heroes Foundation, as well as a number of other local charity groups, we have created a specialist, custom-built, state-of-the-art centre for children with cancer, so that they can receive the best quality care and treatment possible.

I do not believe that anyone deserves our help and support more than sick children and their families, so I am incredibly pleased that the children's cancer centre has been opened and that we have delivered on our commitment to the Adelaide community by providing that vital funding. That funding is on top of the additional hundreds of millions of dollars that we have provided to fund better health care across Adelaide. It includes $200 million for the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute; $2.1 million for 10 more dental chairs at the Adelaide Dental Hospital, which is incredibly important in ensuring that we can meet the needs of more patients as well as reduce waiting lists; and $1.36 million to upgrade infrastructure at six local GP facilities and, of course, at the Adelaide Women's Health Centre, which was opened just recently.

I know from listening to local residents and local healthcare providers that there is more work to be done in building our healthcare system. As the member for Adelaide, my priority is to fight for the resources to deliver better health care for the people of Adelaide. I will continue to do this through all of my time in parliament.