Health Dept has eye on shorter patient waiting times

Pre-operative and post surgical care will remain at the Armadale hospital.

Health Minister Kim Hames came under fire from Armadale MLA Tony Buti last week over the move of services away from Armadale.

But Dr Hames said he wanted to shorten surgery wait times for patients.

‘We don’t want any patient to wait for their elective surgery longer than the acceptable recommended time, and this approach allows for more surgical patients to receive timely and accessible care,’ Dr Hames said. ‘The planned move means more patients will have their elective surgery within acceptable times, which will lead to patients having a better quality of life sooner.

‘This transfer will not disadvantage patients awaiting ophthalmic surgery as Bentley Hospital specialises in the management of high volume, low acuity surgeries.’

Dr Buti said he was disappointed that ophthalmology surgery would no longer be available at Armadale.

‘Bentley is an ageing facility with only two theatres and there is no other hospital south of the river that is able to provide an ophthalmic service,’ Dr Buti said.

‘That means Armadale and southern communities’ patients booked for surgery at Armadale will now have to go back on a waiting list for up to a year.’

He wrote to Dr Hames and Premier Colin Barnett urging them to reverse the decision. Surgeons at Armadale were informed by letter of the decision to cease all ophthalmic surgeries at Armadale.