Some Garran residents and parents fear Canberra Hospital's proposed new emergency department will put the safety of primary school children across the road at risk.
The new emergency department to be built as part of the Canberra Hospital expansion project - called SPIRE - will be located at the corner of Gilmore Crescent and Palmer Street.
Garran Primary School is located opposite the proposed site.
Once operational in 2024, ambulances may be required to access the busy emergency department via Palmer Street.
The latest government figures show there were about 54 ambulance arrivals per day.
Parent and Garran resident Jenny Berget said traffic from the hospital already caused chaos, but moving the emergency department opposite the school would only make things worse.
"My biggest concerns are about the traffic and safety primarily the safety of the school children walking and riding to school," she said.
"The corner of Gilmore Avenue and Palmer Street is bad enough as it is. We were one of the first schools to get a crossing supervisor put in because there are problems with safety and traffic in this area."
She said the location had come as a surprise to many Garran residents and they wanted better consultation from the government.
The Canberra Liberals claim it is unprecedented that a large emergency department would be accessed by a suburban street.
But during a fiery question time on Thursday, Health Minister said the opposition was scaremongering on the issue.
"Garran Primary School is already next door to the Canberra Hospital," she said.
Ms Stephen-Smith said work was only in early planning stages, but even under proposed design there were multiple access routes.
Opposition health spokeswoman Vicki Dunne said by the time the expanded emergency department was open, there would be far more ambulance arrivals and departures every day.
"Of course, there is a real risk having ambulance vehicles negotiate busy school zones at 'school o'clock'," she said.
"The Canberra Hospital has the third busiest emergency department in the country.
"It is unprecedented that such a facility would be accessed via suburban streets, let alone one that also serves a primary school."
Ms Stephen-Smith wrote to the Garran Residents' Association acknowledging their concerns.
She said the site decision was made after extensive consultation with clinicians and within the context of the space available on the Canberra Hospital campus.
Ms Stephen-Smith told the association the government expected the relocation of facilities currently near the site to offset extra traffic associated with SPIRE.
It came as the government held an industry briefing about the procurement of services for the construction of SPIRE.
Construction is not expected to begin until early 2021 and a development application lodged in the later stages of next year.