However, Fremantle Hospital and Health Services executive director David Blythe said despite a number of big changes scheduled for the coming months, a narrowed-down focus would allow for a more efficient and community-minded local health service.
Kaleeya Hospital will close its doors in December, while the emergency department at Fremantle Hospital will operate until 7am on February 3, 2015 before it too shuts, as services are moved to the modern Fiona Stanley Hospital when it starts its phased opening this October.
Other services Fremantle Hospital will lose include cardiothoracic surgery, renal dialysis and hyperbaric medicine, which will all move to the new hospital.
Dr Blythe said the changes would allow the 300-bed hospital to focus on a number of specialist areas, including aged care, mental health services, rehabilitation and elective surgery.
‘I think now we deliver a really good service in a broad range of areas, but the aim is to deliver a high quality in everything we do,’ he said.
‘The hospital won’t be better or worse, just different.
‘I think it will be better that we concentrate on a narrower range of services that we already do really well in such as aged care and mental health.’
Dr Blythe will be at The Meeting Place on June 12 at 6pm for a public forum on the Fremantle Hospital Health Plan.
‘People are beginning to be aware of the changes that are coming so we’re trying to get as much information out there as we can,’ he said.
‘I don’t think there is a lack of understanding, but people are interested and concerned and they want to know exactly what the changes are.
‘There is a sense out there that Fremantle Hospital is connected to its community, that it’s ‘our local hospital’ and that will definitely remain part of our future given the services we plan to concentrate on (and) really have that interface with the community. So our relationship with the community is going to be even more important in the future and I am determined to maintain that link.’
For details on the forum, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To send a question to Dr Blythe, email ask.david@-health.wa.gov.au.