BENTLEY man Alan Bateson has called on the candidates for the seat of Swan to fight for Bentley Hospital in the lead up to the election.
Citing the Federal Government’s $54 billion in cuts to the health budget, the 62-year-old retiree said he was worried about the impact on the hospital and launched a campaign to have funding restored to Bentley Hospital.
“I have cancer in my neck, have had my lips taken off and sewed back on and need a coronary bypass, genetically I haven’t had much luck but it means I have used the hospital’s surgery for a long time,” he said.
So far, Mr Bateson’s petition has attracted the signatures of 343 people and he has called on Swan candidates to support his cause.
“What they’re doing isn’t working, I don’t want to hear that it’s a state problem, federalism overrides state all the time,” he said.
“Party policies play too much of an influence on all policies…. These are services were pay for with our taxes that are cut,” he said.
WHAT THE CANDIDATES SAY
Steve Irons, Liberal
Community members have approached me about Bentley Hospital before and I have worked closely with the Bentley Community Advisory Council to ensure the vital services continue.
Late last year a report was released recommending the maternity unit at the hospital be closed, and that was provisionally accepted by the State Government.
I contacted the State Minister argued Bentley was meeting the threshold for a viable service with 1060 babies delivered in 2015.
The Minister recognised the value of the services and agreed to keep the unit operating until at least 2018, subject to ongoing reviews.
This is not the first time I have acted to save the maternity services. In 2010, I ran a successful community campaign when a decision by the former Labor Government to close the unit down was due to come into effect.
Tammy Solonec, Labor
As a local resident I have used Bentley Hospital for both myself and children, and therefore understand how vital this service is for our community.
In Government Labor established an agreement with States and Territories to put more towards the hospitals to help them manage growing demand while reforming the way they provide services. This historic agreement was scrapped by the Abbott-Turnbull Government – they have cut billions from Australia’s hospitals.
When I’m out doorknocking or calling people on the phones, Bentley Hospital’s future comes up in conversation quite a bit. People want answers about what future this hospital has. Health is a state responsibility, but it is important all levels work together to achieve the best outcomes for the community.
Sarah Nielsen-Harvey, Greens
Bentley Hospital is highly valued and provides many essential services, especially in adolescent mental health, maternity, rehabilitation and aged care. It is the Federal Government’s responsibility to ensure that states have appropriate funding, and this blame game between State and Commonwealth is tiring, dangerous and needs to end. Low care hospitals are important in helping to spread the pressure away from key emergency hospitals, ensuring that every person is receiving prompt and suitable treatment. We have launched the Greens federal health package, injecting $4billion by 2020, this is a long term vision aimed at preventing the cost-shifting between governments. All health services are extremely important to myself, the Greens and everyone who lives in our community; and Bentley Hospital is no different.