Minister plays down hospital funding cuts

Last year, the State Government cut $5 million allocated for the development of the hospital, which was set to begin in 2014-15.

The development was initially delayed until 2017-18, but has now been completely scratched from the WA Budget.

Mr Johnston said the State Government had ignored the strong community support for the health provider as evident through a phone poll he commissioned.

‘477 local residents responded to my survey about Bentley Hospital ” 375 people opposed the Barnett Liberal Government plan to downgrade Bentley Hospital, which is 78.6 per cent of people answering this question,’ Mr Johnston said.

‘Only 36 people were in favour of the Barnett Government’s plans, or just 7.5 per cent.

‘If Colin Barnett was listening to local residents, who wouldn’t be spending hundreds of millions of dollars on Elizabeth Quay, he would make Bentley Hospital his priority.’

Health Minister Kim Hames said there had been no funds removed from the redevelopment of Bentley Hospital. He said the change was simply a deferral of $5m beyond the current forward estimates.

‘Bentley Hospital is part of the Royal Perth Hospital Group and its redevelopment planning is under way, as part of the reconfiguration of services of the South Metropolitan Health Service,’ Dr Hames said.

‘Bentley Hospital will continue to be an important part of providing health care services to people in the south metropolitan area.’

Dr Hames said the 199-bed specialist hospital would provide mental health and rehabilitation services as well as elective surgery and same-day services in support of Royal Perth and Fiona Stanley hospitals.