Mental health unit on hold

Opposition spokesman on health Roger Cook outside Osborne Park Hospital, which lost out in the State Budget. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d419946
Opposition spokesman on health Roger Cook outside Osborne Park Hospital, which lost out in the State Budget. Picture: Andrew Ritchie www.communitypix.com.au d419946

Cuts to Joondalup Health Campus ($3.7 million) and Princess Margaret Hospital ($500,000) will also help foot the bill for issues with the new Murdoch-based hospital.

Opposition health spokesman Roger Cook criticised the State Budget last week, accusing it of mismanaging the Fiona Stanley project.

‘The State Budget is the latest chapter in the Fiona Stanley Hospital IT train wreck,’ Mr Cook said.

‘This project is simply haemorrhaging cash and there appears to be no end in sight for the cost blowouts.’

The latest budget confirmed the State would direct a further $40 million towards the Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Mr Cook said the Budget did not give a commitment that the latest top-up would be the last for the hospital.

‘The appalling handling of this project and the new Perth Children’s Hospital means there is hardly a single capital works project in the health portfolio that has not been cut or deferred in some way,’ he said.

Health Minister Kim Hames said the funding redirected from Osborne Park Hospital would have no impact on current services, but would affect plans for the mental health campus. However, Dr Hames said mental health had received a Budget boost, with the announcement of 136 new and relocated hospital beds for mentally ill patients.

‘As demand for our hospital services continues to climb, we’ve delivered on our promise to fully fund the Department of Health’s growth pressures and hospital funding has increased by almost 6 per cent,’ Mr Hames said.

‘In regard to further mental health capital works, the WA Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug Services Plan, being developed by the Mental Health Commission, will inform future locations and bed distributions.’