THE State Opposition has questioned the delay of the Joondalup Health Campus expansion.
North Metropolitan MLC Tjorn Sibma said that during questioning in Parliamentary Budget Estimates, the Government and WA Health officials admitted the expansion would not be fully operational until 2024-25.
“After three budgets, the State Labor Government has failed to deliver on its 2017 election promise to provide $167 million of funding for the Joondalup Health Campus,” he said.
“And now, despite the Federal Government providing $158 million for the project in 2018, it’s become clear the McGowan Government has failed to make any progress towards delivering this critical infrastructure for people in our northern suburbs… to meet increased demand for health services in the northern suburb corridor.”
When asked on Thursday how urgently the City needed the hospital expanded, Mayor Albert Jacob said Joondalup Health Campus was the “single largest employer in the City of Joondalup”.
“And health care is one of the three major economic drivers for the City, so the single most important component for driving jobs growth in the City is the Joondalup Health Campus.”
He said the City welcomed the announcement of funding towards the expansion in this year’s budget.
“Joondalup has the busiest emergency department in the state and it services a corridor of about 700,000 people – almost a third of the state’s population,” he said. “We have an ageing population and we have a growing need, so this is a very welcome first step for an expansion but we are going to need future growth for Joondalup Health Campus.”
Premier Mark McGowan said planning was required.
“The government is working with Ramsay Health Care and the Department of Health to plan for the expansion of the hospital,” he said.
“I also note we’ve already done the stroke unit and some other improvements of the hospital particularly in the area of mental health but when you’re spending more than $160 million you have to make sure plan it properly.”
The 12-bed stroke unit was officially opened in March.