Today’s pre-budget health announcement is yet more spin from a government that is big on talk but short on substance as ambulances remained ramped for more than 5100 hours again last month, Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

“While I welcome any investment that will improve our health system, there appears to be a lack of urgency in addressing the crisis that is happening day-in, day-out in our system right now,” Ms Mettam said.

“Last month, St John’s Ambulance WA recorded 5110 hours ramped outside our emergency departments, including more than 100 hours outside our country hospitals.

“Yet despite announcing a so-called emergency care reform today, the Health Minister couldn’t provide any clear timeframe or plan on when we will see a reduction in these appalling figures.

“Instead, there was lots of talk about business cases, taskforces, and programs but not much detail on how and when these measures will be delivered.

“We’ve already had the Sustainable Health Review, there’s currently a Governance Review and now we have a program to identify solutions for long-term improvements.

“How many reviews and taskforces does the McGowan Government need to undertake before it stops deflecting and starts fixing our health system?”

Ms Mettam said ‘embedding nurses’ into our system was obviously welcome but questioned why there was no detail on how many extra nurses would be employed, where will they come from and when this measure, which
was a key recommendation following the death of Aishwarya Aswath, be fully operational?

“The crisis facing our health system in not new, it has been escalating for the past few years and is a direct result of the McGowan Government’s continual under-funding. It’s reasonable to expect that the Health Minister should be able to answer these simple questions,” Ms Mettam said.

“Today’s announcement appears to be more of a plan written in a media room by spin-doctors than a policy developed on the ground to address the crisis with the urgency it deserves right now.”

Ms Mettam said the ‘reform package’ was an admission of failure and WA deserves better than this after five years of the McGowan Government and a hospital system in crisis.