The Labor Government is shining a light on health in the Territory with plans to fund major improvements to remote services as part of a $92 million investment.
Despite a great need for improved health services, Katherine does not get much attention.
The election promise aims to ensure all Territorians have access to the best possible health care, whether they live in Darwin or remotely in communities.
If elected, the Territory can expect a second $10 million Careflight helicopter as well as big investments in Mental Health.
"The NT has just one medical rescue helicopter for the whole Territory, and it is offline 30 per cent of the time for maintenance," a Labor statement says.
"A second aircraft will give the Territory almost total coverage and save lives in Darwin and beyond."
Labor has committed $15 million to boost the number of mental health inpatient beds in Darwin, while there is no mention of boosting services in Katherine, despite the dire need.
"Mental ill health rates in the NT are high, with suicide rates twice the national average, linked to high rates of homelessness and substance abuse," the statement says.
"At the moment the only inpatient Mental Health Unit in the Top End is a 31-bed unit on the Royal Darwin Hospital campus.
"This unit is often running at full capacity, meaning mental health patients often have to be treated in the hospital emergency department or other less appropriate facilities.
"That means Territorians are not getting the quality care they need."
Labor will tackle this problem by building a new six-to-eight-bed stand-alone youth inpatient facility on the Royal Darwin Hospital site and refurbish the current unit to increase the number of adult beds.
In a step to close the gap between non-Indigenous and Indigenous health, Bill Shorten has promised to upgrade four NT Government clinics in Borroloola, Gunbalanya, Gapuwiyak and Ramingining.
Labor will also:
- Provide new Remote Point of Care Pathology Testing machines in 20 remote locations, to allow for sepsis testing and white cell count monitoring ($500,000).
- Buy a new BreastScreen Mammography System for Palmerston Hospital ($240,000).
- Upgrade the following Aboriginal Medical Services: Mutijuli Health Service ($7.5 million), Mpwelarre Health Service ($1 million), Danila Dilba ($1.5 million), and Galiwin'ku ($1 million).
- Upgrade Tennant Creek Hospital ($3 million).
- Match a commitment to upgrade Alice Springs Hospital ($25.7 million).
"Labor can pay for better hospitals and health services because we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close tax loopholes used by the top end of town."