05/03/2008 - 13:44

Opposition claims obstetrics absent in Fiona Stanley plans

05/03/2008 - 13:44

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People wanting to have a baby at the state government's new flagship Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch may have to re-think their plans, according to the state opposition.

People wanting to have a baby at the state government's new flagship Fiona Stanley Hospital in Murdoch may have to re-think their plans, according to the state opposition.

After obtaining recent detailed floorplans of FSH, and a document calling for expressions of interest for the construction of the hospital, the Liberals have called on the state government to explain whether obstetric and gynaecology services promised for the hospital have been removed.

Liberal Leader Troy Buswell said the community needed clarification on whether the disappearance of the facilities was an oversight or a broken promise.

"Detailed floorplans of the hospital obtained by the Liberals clearly show the layout and location of wards for cardiology, oncology, burns, paediatrics and pathology, but the promised obstetric and gynaecology appear to be notably absent," Mr Buswell said.

"As well, the expression of interest document for the design and delivery of the hospital which closes today talks about paediatric services, surgical services and radiology, but again there is no mention of obstetrics and gynaecology.

"This is unusual considering birthing services were a key component of services at the Fiona Stanley Hospital that were being spruiked by our part-time Health Minister, Jim McGinty.

"Looking at media statements by the Minister, obstetrics and gynaecology services were a significant part of the Fiona Stanley Hospital plans right up until the middle of 2007 when they stopped being talked about.

"Now the services do not appear to be on recent floorplans for the hospital yet they are mentioned by the minister's representative in the Upper House.

"There appears to be confusion in the government's ranks as to whether people in the southern suburbs will be able to have a baby at the Fiona Stanley Hospital.

"Jim McGinty must explain whether obstetrics and gynaecology have been cut as appears to be the case or whether it is an unfortunate oversight that it has not been included in government announcements on the hospital or these recent floorplans.

"Our concern is that if obstetric and gynaecology services have dropped off, then we are seeing a cut in services at the same time that costs for the hospital have blown out by $1 billion.

"We need to know - are the people in the southern suburbs getting the hospital they were promised that includes facilities where mothers can have their children?

Shadow Health Minister Dr Kim Hames said the Metropolitan Clinical Services framework showed 25 obstetric beds planned for FSH - placing it on par with Swan Districts, Armadale and Rockingham.

"At the same time that obstetric and gynaecology services appear to be being cut from Fiona Stanley Hospital, we have Royal Perth Hospital facing the wrecking ball and a new children's hospital being put off while Princess Margaret Hospital deteriorates," Dr Hames said.

"Our part-time Health Minister Jim McGinty has taken a scalpel to obstetric services in WA, with its removal from Kalamunda and Bentley hospitals and the closure of Woodside Hospital."


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