BASSENDEAN Greens candidate Sarah Quinton has called on major political parties to fund another child health nurse at Bassendean Child Health Centre this State Election.
The 60-year-old centre offers free services including child-neuro development, growth and nutrition, social and emotional wellbeing, illness and injury prevention and is staffed with one full-time nurse.
Ms Quinton, of Bassendean, said the Greens would fight for a dedicated Child Minister, a new Children Department and triple the funding to child health and child health centres.
“We have an $8 billion health budget and just $110 million is spent on child health nurses forced to work out of dilapidated buildings, with nurses often working alone and over-worked,” she said.
“This is not making the health and wellbeing of our children a priority.”
However, a WA Health Department spokesman said there was no need for another nurse at the centre.
“In the last financial year 2015-16, the centre provided one-to-one appointments to approximately 27 families per week,” he said.
“There are weekly drop-in clinics and weekly early parenting groups which see 36 families per month and 32 families per month, respectively.
“As at February 21, 2017, there was one family on the wait list, waiting on a three-year-old check for their child.”
Health Minister John Day said the State Government invested $58.5 million in improving child health services, including an extra 100 paediatric nurses.
“Local care needs are constantly monitored and the Child and Adolescent Health Service has a strong working relationship with the Town of Bassendean to ensure the delivery of responsive services to families,” he said.
Liberal candidate for Bassendean Jim Seth said one nurse was appropriate for the current activity at the centre.
Bassendean MLA Dave Kelly said he was aware of the community discussion about the state of the centre.
“I fully understand the importance of child health nurses… if WA Labor wins the election I am happy to consider any proposal put forward by the Town of Bassendean,” he said.
Ms Quinton also said a new facility would be needed in the future.