Peel Health Campus federal funding overlooked by state government: Malcolm Turnbull

In Mandurah: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Lakelands on Friday to announce an $824 million infrastructure package and answer questions on Peel health funding. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.
In Mandurah: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited Lakelands on Friday to announce an $824 million infrastructure package and answer questions on Peel health funding. Photo: Caitlyn Rintoul.

Peel Health Campus was left out of a $189 million federal cash injection for public hospitals under the guidance of the WA state government, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. 

Mr Turnbull announced the budget cash in Perth last Thursday morning, which was intended as a top-up to WA’s share of the GST.

About $158 million will go to the Joondalup Health Campus upgrade, $10.6 million to an Osborne Park Hospital expansion and $20.3 million for the refurbishment of Royal Perth Hospital, including the construction of a medihotel.

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While Mr Turnbull said he recognised investment needed to be made into health in the Peel region, the call on where to funnel the money was “based on discussions with the WA state government”.

“We work with the state government; they're the state government's hospitals, they're responsible for them,” Mr Turnbull said.  

“Over the next five year cycle, from 2021 we'll be increasing health funding by about 37 per cent, over $14 billion over that five year period versus a bit over 10 for the previous five year period.

“These are priorities we've agreed with the state government but we certainly understand the need for investment here in the Peel region.

“But, again, we have to work with the state government for that.”

Despite this multi-million cash injection, Mr Turnbull said there was “absolutely no shortage of funding” going into WA hospitals. 

The Prime Minister also credited WA Premier Mark McGowan for signing the new hospital agreement, which would see the federal government offer an extra $30 billion in public health funding to states and territories, for the next five years.

WA, along with New South Wales, were the only states to sign up to the new deal at February’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. 

However, Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup said the fact Peel Health Campus missed out on federal funding made the state government’s priorities “very clear”.

“I want to know where Peel Health Campus was on the list of priorities for the state government, because quite clearly it wasn't in the top three hospitals in Western Australia that they thought needed to be funded,” he said.  

“When we have a state minister for health who says he clearly recognises there's a need for us to get more funding for our hospital, but he doesn't submit that to the federal government for funding, I don't think that's good enough.”