Mandurah: Hastie hits back at claims hospital funding was a drop in the ocean


Federal Minister Greg Hunt and Canning MHR Andrew Hastie announce funding for Peel Health Campus.
Federal Minister Greg Hunt and Canning MHR Andrew Hastie announce funding for Peel Health Campus.

CANNING MHR Andrew Hastie has hit back at Australian Medical Association (WA) claims the Federal Government’s $25 million for an upgrade of Peel Health Campus, announced this week, was little more than a drop in the ocean and would do nothing to resolve serious issues at the hospital.

AMA (WA) president Omar Khorshid said the funding offered little hope for any significant improvement and was a slap in the face for medical professionals, patients and the local community.

It would not alleviate what was fast becoming a crisis.

“We must congratulate local Federal and State representatives for their campaign over the last few months urging government action on health services in the area but $25 million will do nothing to help Peel cope with a huge increase in population,’’ he said.

“Rather than congratulate the Federal Government we must criticise this tiny offering that will do little to help the health needs of the community.”

But Mr Hastie said Dr Khorshid was a surgeon with a practise at Claremont who operated at Peel Health Campus and had known about the issue for some time.

He said he was surprised it was the first time Dr Khorshid had chosen to speak out.

“Where was he over the last 280 days as the community campaigned for a better hospital?” he asked.

“Why did he not criticise WA Labor for their $5 million investment – he remained silent then but has chosen to criticise us for an investment five times greater.

“No-one is suggesting it will fix all the problems.

“But the fact remains this is the biggest investment in the hospital since 1997.

“Its $25 million for a bigger, better Emergency Department, improved Imaging Department, new Community Mental Health facilities, and additional funding to tackle eating disorders.

“This is huge news for our region.

“This investment in PHC has received near universal praise from the local community, the hospital and both sides of politics here in Mandurah.

“I look forward to working with my political counterparts and the local community to continue the fight for better health services in Mandurah.”

Dr Khorshid said it would take at the very least $400 million to build a new Peel Health Campus and the Federal Government should share the cost with the State Government.

“As the Federal Government has said, the population of Mandurah has doubled since Peel Health Campus opened in 1997 yet 22 years later significant expansion had been neither planned nor funded.

“At the very least it will take around $400 million to build a new Peel Health Campus and the Federal Government should be sharing this cost with the State Government in order to improve services in Mandurah and the Peel region.

Dr Khorshid called for the Federal and State Governments to immediately negotiate a joint approach to funding the health needs of the area.