The McGowan Labor Government’s do-nothing road map ignores the escalating health needs of the State raising serious concerns about the future of the health system, according to Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam.
“The McGowan Government has just paid consultants $150,000 for a report which says do nothing,” Ms Mettam said.
“This is extraordinary, given our hospitals are already being pushed to the limit with regular code yellows because they don’t have enough beds and unprecedented levels of ambulance ramping with patients spending hours in hospital corridors waiting for help.
“We also have a chronic shortage of healthcare workers continually being asked to do more for less. Our health system is already in crisis, it is absolutely gobsmacking that this Government is even considering a do-nothing approach going forward.
“Unless it’s METRONET, it seems that the McGowan Labor Government isn’t interested in investing in future infrastructure.”
The Infrastructure WA Strategy highlights the need for a stronger focus to be placed on demand management and prevention initiatives that ultimately divert, delay or avoid the need for costly infrastructure.
Ms Mettam said pushing out the planning for Royal Perth Hospital and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital raised serious questions about the McGowan Government’s priorities.
She also questioned whether the redevelopment of Women and Babies Hospital would remain a priority, as promised in the election.
“On the one hand, it’s own infrastructure authority, Infrastructure WA, has highlighted major gaps in the health system design, service and infrastructure and that ‘greater action is needed’ as a ‘priority’,” Ms Mettam said.
“But then, on the other hand, the report questions whether anything needs to be done at all when it comes to infrastructure at a time when the State Government is sitting on a $5 billion surplus from record iron ore royalties.
“The people of WA deserve to know – why isn’t that money being spent to fix the escalating health crisis and what exactly is the plan for the future when it comes to our hospitals?”
Ms Mettam said the State Government had failed to fully implement its own Sustainable Health Review which would have addressed many of these concerns.
“Clearly, the government’s failure to properly invest in the health, mental health and public housing sectors, has been identified as contributing to issues in hospital EDs, resulting in record ambulance ramping,” Ms Mettam said.
“The part-time Health Minister is quick on announcing plans and intentions but has clearly failed when it comes to actions and desperately needed service delivery reform in health.”