The Health Minister has been forced to admit a bacterial contamination has been detected in the water supply at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, despite denying the reports in Parliament last week.

In further questions in the Legislative Council yesterday, the Minister was forced to admit legionella had been detected at one of WA’s major tertiary hospitals, raising concerns about patient safety and the lack of transparency from this government.

“These concerns were raised with me by health workers and patients’ families last week, but when questioned the Health Minister implied they were false,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

“This week he’s been forced into an embarrassing backflip after trying to spin and deflect his way out of yet another failure on his watch.

“There are reports that the oncology and haematology ward has been affected, with families concerned any contamination could be particularly serious for immune-comprised patients.”

Ms Mettam said it is understood the bacterial contamination had led to the intermittent closure of beds at the hospital, which is an obvious concern given the crisis our health system is currently facing.

“It is simply astounding that after dismissing my questions in Parliament last week, the Health Minister has now confirmed the legionella contamination.

“It’s clear this government does not care about its so-called ‘Gold Standard Transparency’ promise and is willing to say anything to detract from its own failings.

“Instead of trying to address the contamination and ensure vulnerable patients weren’t impacted, the Minister’s first reaction was to try and bury the issue, highlighting yet again the McGowan Labor Government is more interested in deflection and spin than putting patients first.

“To have the water supply at risk at one of major tertiary hospitals also shows a lack of forward planning and investment in our ageing health infrastructure and highlights the McGowan Government’s inability to manage our health system.

“This is yet another example of our under-resourced health system going from crisis to crisis under the McGowan Labor Government and the people of WA deserve better.”