It took 34 weeks, 41 articles, increased political pressure and a public rally – but Peel Health Campus’ emergency department will be funded to the tune of $5 million.
The ongoing Mandurah Mail campaign has highlighted the need for additional resources at our hospital and returned a victory last week as Roger Cook pledged funding in the short-term in a bid to ease pressure on services.
Looking back over the articles we have written and issues we have covered, some make stark reading.
We heard from Mandii Tennick in January, who had a heart attack after she was sent home from PHC – complaining of neck, back and jaw pain.
Hundreds of people turned out for a public rally organised by Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup in May to show how much this issue mattered.
A report in June detailed the fact that PHC had the second-worst emergency department wait times in Western Australia, with almost a third of patients not being seen within four hours.
The upgrade Mr Cook announced last Wednesday will include a new fast-track patient triage zone, a redesigned waiting room, new holding bays and the reconfiguration of the existing triage area.
The Health Minister conceded the Government had taken heed of the Mail’s reporting of community concerns.
“It has (played a part),” he said. “(Mandurah MP) David Templeman has been on my case from day one about what we should be doing as a Government to look after the patients in this area.
“The Mandurah Mail has led the charge to ensure the community’s concerns are heard. We have listened and I’ve seen it for myself – so we are going to make these changes to fix the problems in the short term.”
Over the last week, the response from the public has been predominantly positive.
Residents have told us they are pleased PHC has been brought to the Government’s attention and that the staff deserve better facilities.
Mr Kirkup and Canning MP Andrew Hastie have labelled the $5 million commitment as a good start – but that more investment in the hospital was needed.
The Mail endeavours to continue the push for additional resources at PHC – especially as Mr Cook stated the $5 million funding will not preclude the Mandurah facility from being included in the next State Budget.
Questions still remain, as the Sustainable Health Review’s final report is due in November.
How long will it take for work to start? When will the project be completed? What role will the Murray Districts Hospital play? What is the future of healthcare in the Mandurah and Peel region?
Stay tuned as we commit to finding the answers.