Despite fewer Mandurah residents presenting to the Peel Health Campus in the past three years, the number of patients being transferred to Perth has increased by 266 trips.
Health Minister Roger Cook responded to questions asked by Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup on March 13, 2018 in parliament, relating to the number of patients transferred by ambulance from the health campus ED to Fiona Stanley Hospital in recent years.
Mr Cook said the number of transfers to Perth had grown from 733 patients in 2015, to 999 in 2017.
This is despite patients presenting to the PHC ED in decline by 568 attendances from January to March in 2015, compared to the same time period in 2017.
The most recent monthly data follows this trend with ED patients down 200 attendances from 3597 in April 2017, to 3397 in April 2018.
A South Metropolitan Health Service spokeswoman said patients are transferred from PHC to other hospitals for a number of reasons.
“Commonly, it is patients requiring emergency tertiary care, such as specialist cardiology or trauma services, who are transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital,” she said.
“In 2017, the 999 patients transferred from Peel Health Campus to Fiona Stanley Hospital represented 2.3 per cent of the more than 43,000 emergency patients presenting at PHC and in 2016 it was 947 patients or 2.2 per cent.
“The transfer of patients between hospitals in the South Metropolitan Health Service is to ensure patients are in the right place to receive the care they need.”
Mr Kirkup said the amount of people being transferred was “less than ideal”.
“These increases in patient transfers from Peel Health Campus to Fiona Stanley Hospital sadly confirm what we already know – our local hospital isn't big enough or resourced enough to deal with our growing population,” he said.
“In time of critical incidents, I have serious concerns about being shuttled up in an ambulance instead of being treated locally.
“Our community has been united calling for an expansion and upgrade to our hospital but we keep getting ignored by the state government and this is starting to impact on patients in our community when you see such substantial increase in ambulance transfers.”