THE battle for local seats in the upcoming State Election is heating up with the Government announcing a $140 million upgrade to Joondalup Health Campus should it retain power.
In response, Labor health spokesman Roger Cook claimed it was a “desperate grab at votes” but did not have an immediate announcement regarding his party’s plan for the campus.
Premier Colin Barnett and Health Minister John Day were at the hospital on Friday to announce the development, which would add 90 public and 25 to 30 mental health beds.
It would increase the number of public beds to more than 600.
The campus would also gain eight operating theatres, a bigger emergency department (ED) and more car park space.
A burgeoning local population has stretched resources at JHC, which is run in a public-private partnership with Ramsay Health, putting pressure on the Government to act.
Joondalup MLA Jan Norberger, a Liberal, raised the issue of parking and ED space in parliament last year.
Mr Cook targeted the Government on the issue during the same sitting.
The WA Health Clinical Service Framework, released in 2014, predicted population growth would outstrip the hospital’s capabilities by 2021-22.
Mr Barnett expected the upgrade to be finished by 2020.
“With more than 98,000 presentations a year, Joondalup is one of the busiest emergency departments in the nation,” he said.
“In the past five years, Joondalup ambulance presentations have doubled and hospital admissions have increased almost 60 per cent.”
Mr Cook said he was pleased the Liberal Party had made the announcement, but asserted “they were to be condemned for coming to the party at the last minute when they are desperate for northern suburbs votes”.
He said Labor would make announcements about its vision for the northern suburbs health sector later in the campaign, claiming they had a “comprehensive plan”.