Peel Health Emergency: Why do we need to play the waiting game?

Is it just me, or is the Peel region starting to feel like the least favourite child at Christmas? 

Joondalup Health Campus and Geraldton Hospital get $158 million and $73.3 million in hand outs and yet the budget could only find $4.4 million for our Peel Health Campus.

For a car park. 

The good news is that you’ll be able to find a car park so you can wait – potentially for more than four hours – in the emergency department. 

Think that’s an exaggeration? 

EDs are required to have a wait time of less than four hours, 90 percent of the time. At Peel it’s about a 77 percent success rate.

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Now this is nothing against the people who work at Peel Health Campus. 

I would trust them with my life – quite literally – if one day my luck runs out and I end up in the ED myself. 

But that is why funding is so important. 

When it comes to the debate around said funding, I agree with Mandurah MP David Templeman when he says we need to get this expansion right. 

But, what I don’t understand – if it truly isn’t about playing the political game like both parties claim – why are hospitals getting multi-million dollar handouts because of election promises, meanwhile Peel is required to jump through hoops?

And why was Osbourne Park Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital and – again – Joondalup Health Campus put forward by the State Government for Federal funding, ahead of Peel?

“Maybe it should be called … ‘Royal Peel Hospital’. Prehaps if that happens, the Minister for Health might consider them worthy”.

You’d be forgiven if you thought that quote was from a Liberal politician. Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, prehaps? 

It’s not. It was said in parliament by now Premier Mark McGowan in 2009.

And joining Mr McGowan in this walk down memory lane is now Health Minister Roger Cook, when in 2012 he said: “We stand in this place today to stand up for the people of Mandurah and of the Peel region”.

“We want to see the services, the resources and the scope of services at the Peel Health Campus grow.”

As you can see, this is not a new debate. These are not new problems. So why do we have to wait for a new report to tell us what we all already know?