Hospital merger widely rejected

The announcement comes fresh on the heels of a damaging parliamentary inquiry into the transition and operation of services at the embattled Fiona Stanley.

It also follows stop-work strikes at both Fremantle and Royal Perth hospitals in protest against expected staffing cuts as part of a Health Department budget slim-down.

United Voice secretary Carolyn Smith said it was clear the State Government was making decisions on the run.

�This is a Government and a Health Minister who are lurching from crisis to crisis in our public hospitals,� she said.

�There is no plan. The minister has lost all control of his portfolio.�

Acting chief executive of the South Metropolitan Health Service Dr Robyn Lawrence said the two hospitals would become the Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group in February 2016.

�The primary intent of the new structure is to develop a seamless connection between the two hospitals which is expected to lead to better patient flow and transfer processes between the sites and a flexible workforce with enhanced clinical rotations and improved workforce opportunities,� she said.

Australian Medical Association (WA) president Michael Gannon attacked the decision, pointing towards the poor track record of Fiona Stanley�s administration team and stating they already had their hands full dealing with a hospital operating at capacity.

�This is a classic case of policy on the run and without consideration of its likely impact,� Dr Gannon said.

�The financial bottom line seems to be the only consideration. How can the State Government justify removing services at Fremantle Hospital when Fiona Stanley Hospital is constantly at capacity?

�While the Government has more than enough money for roads, sporting stadia and waterfront developments, it seems that health can and will suffer.�

A spokesperson for the Department of Health disputed claims Fiona Stanley Hospital was constantly at threat of entering bed status black (triggered when all beds are occupied).

�The bed state alert system is used in all hospitals as an internal bed management process that helps staff manage patient care in order to meet demand,� she said.