Peel health funds vindicate Mail campaign

When the Mandurah Mail started a campaign in January 2018 to lobby for infrastructure expenditure at the Peel Health Campus, it was with good reason.

Over the last year we have heard your stories of being treated at Mandurah’s hospital, examined statistics and explored issues.

While a common thread has been how committed and professional the PHC staff are, it is clear that investment in the facility is needed to help our doctors and nurses in the line of duty.

The hospital had been neglected over the last decade by governments of varying political persuasions when budget time rolled around – and has suffered as a result.

This week’s front page news of a federal $25 million commitment from Andrew Hastie and Greg Hunt is the third of its kind since our campaign began.

In May 2018, $4.4 million was included in the state government budget to freshen up car parking facilities and increase overall security through an upgrade of the CCTV system and the lock-down capability.

In September 2018, WA health minister Roger Cook pledged $5 million towards new bays and an expansion and redevelopment of the emergency department waiting area.

With this week’s significant announcement taking the committed funds from the state and federal governments to $34.4 million since our campaign started, it shows the power of advocacy journalism and a community rallying together for change.

The fact that the federal government has pledged $25 million, regardless of the upcoming election result, also shows how desperately the funds were needed.

However, the push for expenditure does not end here.

The state government’s Sustainable Health Review is due for release next month and will pinpoint what additional spending is needed to deliver health in the region in the medium-to-long term.

With PHC to be a hotly-contested issue in the upcoming fight for the federal seat of Canning, there is nothing suggesting that further funding originating from Canberra will not follow suit.

Moving forward, the Mail will continue to look at issues around our hospital and in the wider community – and we look forward to reporting on the upcoming upgrades to make PHC a more modern facility.

Gareth McKnight is Mandurah Mail editor.