Perth hospital scores $96m cash boost

Joondalup Health Campus chief executive Kempton Cowan and Health Minister Roger Cook check out the expansion plans. Pictures: Chris Kershaw
Joondalup Health Campus chief executive Kempton Cowan and Health Minister Roger Cook check out the expansion plans. Pictures: Chris Kershaw

JOONDALUP Health Campus has received an extra $96 million to expand its operations.

The northern suburbs hospital will use the State Government money for 90 new inpatient beds to meet future demand, 30 new beds for mental health inpatients, six critical care beds and two operating theatres, one of which is a cardiac catheter laboratory.

Drug and alcohol affected patients presenting to the emergency department will be treated in a separate, specialist urgent care clinic area, while an extra 12 treatment bays will also be added to the same department.

There are also plans for 362 new car parking bays for the public and staff.

Health Minister Roger Cook said his party’s election commitment to meet the growing demand at Joondalup Health Campus had finally been met.

“The expansion will create jobs and deliver a world class public hospital to meet the growing population needs of Perth’s northern corridor,” he said.

“The addition of an urgent care clinic will ease pressure on the busy ED at Joondalup and provide a more appropriate place to treat drug and alcohol affected patients.”

Health Minister Roger Cook, Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton and Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton with patient Pamela Hargrove from Merriwa. Pictures: Chris Kershaw

However, opposition health spokesman Zak Kirkup said the funding announcement fell well short of the 2017 election commitment of $167 million for the Joondalup Health Campus expansion.

“That’s a cut of 42 per cent,” he said.

“This slashing of the budget means WA Labor has again cut corners and will deliver the people of the northern suburbs a second-rate expansion.

“This penny-pinching will not meet the requirements of Joondalup Health Campus into the future.

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“Furthermore, the fact the McGowan Labor Government failed to commence works at the start of their term, rather deciding to wait until the end, means the people of Joondalup and surrounds will not receive desperately needed hospital beds until 2025.

“The McGowan Labor Government has dragged its feet and it has not only compromised health services in the northern suburbs but it has also hurt much-needed jobs and apprenticeships for young people in the area.”

Mr Cook confirmed they had pledged $167 million towards the expansion while in opposition, and once they came into office, they “successfully managed to secure $158 million from the Federal Government”.

“This is proof of the McGowan Government fighting for WA to get a fair share from Canberra and delivering it,” he said.

Health Minister Roger Cook, Wanneroo MLA Sabine Winton, Girrawheen MLA Margaret Quirk, Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton and Joondalup Health Campus chief executive Kempton Cowan. Pictures: Chris Kershaw

“Having secured federal funding, the McGowan Government is making sure the expansion will keep pace with the growing needs of the northern suburbs by committing to spend $98.7 million (made up of the $96 million just announced and $2.7 million pledged in the May budget), in addition to the federal money, to expand the Joondalup hospital.

“This brings the total cost of the Joondalup Health Campus expansion is $256.7 million and delivers more services than our election commitment.”

Mr Cook said construction was due to start mid next year, starting with the emergency departments and additional car parking bays, and be completed by July 2025.

Joondalup MLA Emily Hamilton said local residents were “eager to see this significant health infrastructure project delivered”.

“I’m excited about this funding announcement and can’t wait to see works begin on site next year,” she said.

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