The McGowan Governments failure to properly invest in ICU bed capacity has seen the cancellation of three heart surgeries at Fiona Stanley Hospital last week.

“This follows a damning report which has highlighted that Western Australia had the lowest number of ICU beds in the country, and concerningly, less than the state had 12 months ago,” said Shadow for Health Libby Mettam.
An article published in The Medical Journal of Australia on October 13 revealed the highly concerning revelation that Western Australia has the lowest number of Intensive Care Unit beds on a per capita basis with just 6.0 beds per 100,000 Western Australians.

“When the Opposition raised this concern regarding the cancellation of surgeries due to ICU capacity last week the Minister for Health suggested it was false – an extraordinary statement.

“To see such important surgery cancelled because the McGowan Government have not properly invested in our ICU capacity is a shocking reflection on the Governments failure in the health portfolio.

“To see three heart surgeries cancelled in one week, with no COVID in the community, highlights this Governments failure to ensure we have a properly resourced health system.

“You cannot underinvest in the health system, and not expect there to be consequences.

“Any suggestion that these cancellations are due to unprecedented demand is simply unacceptable, given the promise to prepare our hospitals to be “battle ready” for COVID.

“While the recent 11th hour commitment of $400 mill announcement for additional beds and staff last month was welcomed, it is clear these beds should be in the system now.

“It’s clear WA patients are paying the price in the McGowan Governments desperate game of catch up.”