Hastie: $5m for PHC not enough

Canning MHR Andrew Hastie and Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup.
Canning MHR Andrew Hastie and Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup.

THE $5m investment in Peel Health Campus was a good start, but more needs to be done, according to Canning MHR Andrew Hastie and Dawesville MLA Zak Kirkup.

The local politicians were responding to Health Minister Roger Cook’s announcement yesterday that $5m would be provided to redesign the Peel Health Campus Emergency Department.

Peel Health Campus Director of Emergency Medicine Dr Andrew Walker, Peel Health Campus CEO Dr Margaret Sturdy and Health Minister Roger Cook with patient Doreen Ella in Peel Health Campus’s Emergency Department.

The investment will include eight new beds in the short stay unit, a modern redeveloped waiting area and a new triage zone.

“This investment is a good start for Mandurah and the Peel region but there is still much more that needs to be done to get the hospital we deserve,” Mr Kirkup said.

“It has been a significant effort from the community, coming together to put pressure on the WA Government to bring focus to this important issue.

“There still needs to be an overall expansion of the Emergency Department beyond eight more waiting bays in 2020, there needs to be more beds and there needs to be a long term plan for health services.

“I won’t stop fighting until we get the best possible local hospital and I know the community won’t stop fighting either.”

Mr Hastie said all Labor had committed to was eight beds over the next two years, for a city of over 80,000 people.

“That’s not enough,” he said.

“During the state budget Labor claimed to be spending $655 million over the next four years on health infrastructure, but the most they can find for Mandurah is $5 million for eight beds?

“I think our community is right to expect more.”

Last night in Parliament Mr Hastie said Peel Health Campus no longer had the capacity to properly service the needs of the community.

“Our emergency waiting times are too long, the services are inefficient, and elderly Australians can’t get access to important treatments,” he said.

Mr Hastie said the $5m did not reflect the sort of investment the state government had made elsewhere.

“I’ve spoken before of the additional $189 million invested by the federal government into WA hospitals earlier this year,” he said.

“$158 million went to Joondalup Health Campus, $10.6 million to the Osborne Park Hospital and $20.3 million to the Royal Perth Hospital.

“This money was distributed according to the State Government’s priorities.

“They made it clear that we are not a priority.”

Mr Cook said the reconfigured ED at PHC would improve patient flow, provide greater privacy and create a more pleasant and healing environment in which to work and be treated.

“The upgrades will ensure Peel Health Campus remains in a strong position to deliver hospital emergency services to the Peel region, and is able to respond to the needs of the growing local community,” he said.