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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Liberals pledge $5 million for Deakin hydrotherapy pool

The Canberra Liberals have pledged $5 million for a dedicated hydrotherapy pool in Canberra’s south, if elected to government in October.

In partnership with the John James Foundation and MS Australia, the Canberra Liberals would contribute the funding for a hydrotherapy pool at a wellness centre due to be built in Deakin.

“With the closure of the pool at the Canberra Hospital, everyone agrees that there is a great need for this important health service in the south,” said Liberals health spokesperson, retiring MLA Vicki Dunne.

She said the Canberra Liberals had been in discussions about the wellness centre since early 2019.

The hydrotherapy pool at the Canberra Hospital was closed in February this year.

Arthritis ACT, which offered hydrotherapy services from the Canberra Hospital, has been providing hydrotherapy services at Aqua Harmony in Kambah since March while the ACT Government works to find a more permanent solution. The Government called for expressions of interest in November last year for the provision of a public hydrotherapy pool. 

The Canberra Liberals have previously campaigned on the issue, presenting a petition to the Government in June last year calling for the Canberra Hospital facility to remain open until a new dedicated pool was built.

Liberals candidate and MLA for Murrumbidgee, Giulia Jones, said hydrotherapy is “exactly the kind of early prevention health service that we need more of”.

“People suffering chronic arthritis, muscular or skeletal pain or recovering from injury have been left in the lurch with few alternative solutions since the Canberra Hospital pool closed,” she said.

The wellness centre in Deakin is expected to provide integrated services for people with neurological disorders and musculoskeletal conditions.

ACT Labor health spokesperson Rachel Stephen-Smith said today the ACT Government had already undertaken significant work to ascertain the best option for a southside hydrotherapy pool. She said more announcements on the matter would be made in the “next few days”.

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