Roger Cook has confirmed the Peel Health Campus needs a building expansion, despite denying claims that the region has a “health crisis”.
The WA Health Minister said while the results of the Sustainable Health Review were yet to reveal exactly what was needed to be done at Peel Health Campus, there would “definitely need to be some sort of expansion in the physical capacity”.
“It’s probably going have to be more expansion investment, than just modifications,” Mr Cook said.
“We also need to look at just what role Murray Districts Hospital plays in terms of that because I think we can make better use of the 20 beds than we have done there.”
But despite saying the Peel Health Campus is a “pressure point”, Mr Cook has denied Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup’s claims that the Peel Health Campus is in crisis.
“If there was, the last government would have spent some money on it, but they didn't,” he said.
“But we do need to plan for its future and we're very much looking forward to engaging with the community and the City of Mandurah and, obviously with all the stakeholders around Mandurah, to see what we need to do to invest in that hospital for the future.”
It’s a stance which WA Premier Mark McGowan also shared on Friday, while in the Peel region for media commitments.
Mr McGowan said Mr Kirkup’s “crisis” label was a “bit over the top”.
“It's strange that he would say that it's now in crisis when the Liberals and Nationals had eight-and-a-half years in government and they didn't spend any money on the hospital,” the Premier said.
“We also had a pretty big capital works in health in the last few years, so that's actually taken a lot of the state's budget capacity.
“It's a pity that if Mr Kirkup thinks there were such issues, that when the Health Minister was Dr Kim Hames, who was representing this area, that he didn't put any money into the Peel Health Campus.
“I think 'crisis' is way too strong a word. But I mean he shouldn't be running down his own hospital.”
In response, Mr Kirkup said it was a “ridiculous suggestion by the Premier that we shouldn’t talk about the issues in the community that deserve our attention”.
“The people should expect their members of parliament to stand up and fight for them and they all do,” he said.
“Every man, woman and child in Mandurah knows that the hospital is at a crisis point, where we need an urgent expansion of the Emergency Department and a long-term plan for health in Mandurah.
“It's great that the Minister has recognised that – albeit only after we dragged him kicking and screaming to that outcome.
“The reality is, we need more than that recognition.
“Everyone knows the hospital deserves to be expanded to cope with the population growth that's occurred since it was built.
“They need to put some action behind those words and we need to see some money in the budget to expand Peel Health Campus as a matter of urgency.”