Royal Perth Hospital is to remain the state's major adult trauma centre, after the state government decided against an earlier proposal to establish a second major trauma unit at Fiona Stanley Hospital.
The government has decided that Fiona Stanley will take over delivery of cardiothoracic surgery when it opens in 2014.
State health minister Kim Hames has announced the decision to relocate Royal Perth's cardiothoracic department to Fiona Stanley after what he described as "extensive consultation" with clinicians.
"The consensus was that better patient care would be achieved by consolidating these specialties at single sites," Dr Hames said in a statement.
"National and international evidence clearly indicates that clinical outcomes for high-risk patients are better when complex services, such as advance heart and lung failure, are delivered at one tertiary hospital."
Dr Hames said keeping Royal Perth as the major trauma hub took advantage of the hospital's existing fully accredited and purpose-built service and nationally renowned trauma care.
The plan will see Fiona Stanley becoming the south metropolitan centre for heart and lung surgery, while patients in the northern suburbs will be serviced by a similar department at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
However Fiona Stanley will also play a role as a designated metropolitan trauma service with the state burns service and rehabilitation service.
Australian Medical Association WA president Richard Choong said doctors would welcome the certainty that comes with Dr Hames' announcement that cardiothoracic surgery would be moved out of Royal Perth.
"There is a need to have centralised services which can develop over time to become a centre of excellence," Dr Choong said.
"Our doctors would welcome finally having concrete information about the move. It's about certainty, word's been going around about this for a while, but without information, real planning can't happen."
Dr Choong also applauded the decision to keep trauma services at the unit at Royal Perth, which was an "impressive facility".