When it comes to expansion of the Peel Health Campus, Mandurah MP David Templeman’s message is clear. “We’ve got to get it right”.
The local Labor politician said there was no denying that the local hospital needed upgrading but a comprehensive health plan was needed for the region before works are carried out.
“Does it need upgrades? Yes. And I mean that sincerely,” he said at a Peel Chamber of Commerce state budget event on Friday.
If we are going to be having a debate about health in our community, let’s have the full debate:— David Templeman (@DavidTempsMLA) May 11, 2018
- mental health
- aged care
- Murray District Hospital
- Peel Health Campus over the next 20-30years
“But we’ve got to get it right because any upgrade in the future of that hospital is going to set us on the course for the next 20-30 years.
“A big debate for us in Peel is not only what needs to happen in terms of extension and expansion but what does that mean in terms of overall health provision into the future.
“And I'm going to tell you – there has to be a connection through to Murray Districts Hospital.
“Murray Districts Hospital has to be part of the equation of how we deliver health services in the region.”
It was announced in Thursday’s budget that Peel Health Campus would receive $4.4 million over the next four years to provide upgrades to the car parking facilities for visitors and staff, and increase overall security and safety through an upgrade of the CCTV system and the lock-down capability.
A release from Health Minister Roger Cook also stated that the investment would also support a proactive program to improve the hospital’s assets and facilities.
“Is that enough? No, it's not,” Mr Templeman said.
“And do you think that I will not stand by and fight for more funding? Absolutely I will.
“We all have a vested interest in making sure this hospital succeeds and I want to say this: we need to be mindful that we don't drag it down to the gutter so that the actual people who work there are affected.”
February’s Sustainable Health Review Interim Report highlighted the Peel region as a pressure point within the state’s health system.
Mr Templeman said the November release of the review's complete findings will be crucial in informing the future of the health campus heading forward.
“Yes it's under pressure – we recognise that,” he said.
“But we are going to have a plan that delivers for the future but that needs to be well thought out.
“We actually need to say – and know – what are the health needs of this region going forward.
“One of the opportunities in terms of health in Peel is aged care and it's still not part of the debate or not part of the argument.”
Thursday’s state budget saw $158 million went towards a Joondalup Health Campus expansion, $73.3 million to a Geraldton Health Campus redevelopment and $24.9 million to expand services at Osborne Park Hospital.
When asked if these hospitals had a comprehensive health plan in place before funds were allocated, the Health Minister said “many of the announcements detailed in this budget are associated with election commitments”.
“Obviously we have to make sure we take care of those as well and keep our word,” Mr Cook said.
“What we are now trying to do in relation to Peel – because it wasn't subject to any specific election commitments – is make sure we get ahead of the gate.”