New research has revealed more than 80 per cent of Western Australians don’t believe our hospitals would be able to cope with a COVID-19 outbreak.

The Painted Dog Research group surveyed more than 1000 people with only 37% stating they thought the Health Minister was doing a good job.

“This research is a clear indictment on the Health Minister and how he has allowed the system to be run down through chronic underfunding and under resourcing for the past four years,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

“After 18 months to prepare for COVID-19, it’s also damning that 84% of those surveyed don’t think the health system would cope with an outbreak and begs the question, what has this government been doing?”

The research follows a survey from the Australian Medical Association which highlights those doctors working in privately-run facilities are more satisfied than those working in the public health system.

Some of the doctors surveyed also said they were considering early retirement due to the stress of working in the public health system at present.

“This backs up what we have been hearing from health workers both anecdotally and through the recent internal Your Voice In Health survey which indicated less than half of respondents (47%) actually felt their organisation cared about their health and wellbeing or that they felt valued in the workplace,” Ms Mettam said.

“We know that recruiting and attracting staff to WA is a challenge at present and to now have a situation where staff morale is so low and our critical healthcare workers are considering retiring because of the pressure they are under is alarming and a key indicator of a health system in crisis.”

Ms Mettam said the State’s lacklustre investment in health while enjoying record iron ore revenues was a slap in the face to every health worker who is continually being asked to do more with less.

“With patients being turned away from hospitals due to a lack of beds and staff and record levels of ambulance ramping, it highlights the WA Labor Government have wasted the past 18 months.

“The recent budget was a missed opportunity to address the issues in the health system and illustrates the Minister continues to ignore the reality of the health crisis.

“All we have heard is excuses and deflection of blame from a Minister that claims the health system is outstanding and performing magnificently.

“Clearly the West Australian public is no longer buying the spin and is now looking for leadership and real change on the ground.”