22/08/2008 - 13:00

WA Libs commit $648m to state health

22/08/2008 - 13:00

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The state Liberal Party will commit $648 million towards Western Australia's health system if elected and said it will retain the Princess Margaret Hospital as a government run entity.

The state Liberal Party will commit $648 million towards Western Australia's health system if elected and said it will retain the Princess Margaret Hospital as a government run entity.

The opposition party announcement follows comments from Premier Alan Carpenter yesterday, who claimed a Barnett-Buswell government would potentially privatise the state's health health facilities.

Today the Liberal camp said if it was elected, it would build a new PMH, retain the Royal Perth Hospital and improve regional hospitals and reduce pressure on emergency departments.

The party also committed $30 million over two years to fund up to 8000 extra operations.

"There are no quick fixes, but a Liberal Government will take these significant, innovative and sensible steps that will finally have our health system heading in the right direction," shadow health mininster Kim Hames said.

He added that the opposition will also meet the Royal Flying Doctor Service's full need for three new aircrafts and operating costs.

Yesterday Mr Carpenter announced a return of the Labor government would boost nurse numbers by 800.

 

Below is the full announcement:

 

A Liberal Government will begin to turn around eight years of neglect of the health system with a $647.5 million package (of which $340 million is additional investment in the first term) of innovative strategies designed to make a real difference to improve health care in Western Australia.

Shadow Health Minister Dr Kim Hames said building a new Princess Margaret Hospital, retaining Royal Perth Hospital, improving regional hospitals and health care, revolutionising elective surgery, improving cancer services, staffing (including nurses) and reducing pressure on emergency departments were key commitments in the Liberal's policy.

"There are no quick fixes, but a Liberal Government will take these significant, innovative and sensible steps that will finally have our health system heading in the right direction," Dr Hames said.

"In 2001 Labor promised to fix the health system and the reverse has happened. We will provide stronger investment and a new ways of working to achieve better hospitals, better surgeries, better emergency services and better treatment across the board.

"We will keep the commitment to the retention and recruitment of nurses made by Labor yesterday (Labor) funding and the initiatives.

"A Liberal Government will have a full-time health and Indigenous Affairs Minister - giving the sector the attention it deserves.

"A Liberal Government will revolutionise the surgery waiting list with an injection of $30 million to perform an extra 8,000 surgeries, publication of accurate wait list figures by hospital and the appointment of a Waiting List advocate on to act on behalf of patients who wait longer than they should be for their surgery.

"Western Australia has the worst access block - that is the highest percentage of people waiting more than eight hours for emergency treatment - in Australia.

"Our initiatives will directly address that and a Liberal Government will ease the pressure on our emergency departments.

"It's time for a new way forward in health in WA. A Liberal Government will address the immediate crisis our part-time Labor Health Minister has plunged our health system into and pave the way for a better way forward."

A Liberal Government will:

Better hospitals
- Build a new Government run and managed PMH by 2014.
- An immediate audit of public hospital beds and medical equipment needs for the next five years.
- Save Royal Perth Hospital
- Ensure multi-storey staff car parking is in the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital redevelopment and PMH relocation
- A new Albany Hospital in one stage by 2012
- Increase funding for the Kalgoorlie Hospital upgrade to $50 million and make the upgrade a top priority
- Appoint a new D-G of Health within the first 100 days of government

Surgery and waiting lists
- A funding injection of $30 million over two years to fund up to 8,000 extra operations
- Introduce transparent surgical waiting lists with public reports by hospital.
- Introduce reports by hospital for people waiting to be assessed for elective surgery
- Establish an Office of the Waiting List Advocate to publish transparent statistics and tackle waiting list problems and hot spots.

Support for people with cancer
- Additional $10 million over two years for chemotherapy services in public hospitals, to be allocated with expert advice
- Establish a Palliative Services Support Fund to improve the capacity of existing palliative services, and innovative projects to deliver palliative care services to Western Australians.
- A one-off grant of $1.5 million to SolarisCare to assist it in providing its important services to cancer patients and their families.

Reducing pressure on emergency departments
- Establishing the Friend in Need - Emergency programme to enable organisations like Silver Chain to work with EDs and GPs to provide care in the home and minimise the need for in-hospital treatment

Valuing our nurses
- Establish a Hospital Nurse Support Fund to help fund workplace facilities and improvements for nurses and related staff in public hospitals
- Retain existing forward estimate for nurse recruitment and retention, but make incentives to retain nurses in our public hospitals the top priority
- Before our first Budget, consult with the ANF and nurses on a package of retention and job satisfaction incentives, including car parking, more flexible working hours, child care, help with HECS debts and professional development support
- Initiate an immediate review of staff car parking at metropolitan Perth hospitals.

Support for country health
- Boost Patient Assisted Travel Scheme support for patients in country WA to reflect the increased cost of living, and also reduce the air travel threshold from a 16 to a 4 hour road journey.
- Meet the Royal Flying Doctor Service's full need for 3 new aircraft and operating costs.
- Establish a Health Services Development Fund to support special equipment and service needs such as maternity facilities in country hospitals, cancer screening services, medical equipment upgrades and accommodation for visiting medical specialists.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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