Federal budget: Mandurah urgent care centre announced to ease Peel Health Campus pressure

Mandurah will share in a whopping cash injection aimed at relieving the outstretched health care system, announced in the Federal Budget on Tuesday. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.
Mandurah will share in a whopping cash injection aimed at relieving the outstretched health care system, announced in the Federal Budget on Tuesday. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

An urgent medical care centre designed to ease pressure on the emergency department will be built in Mandurah, after the Coalition government earmarked $28 million in Tuesday's Federal Budget for four sites across the state.

Mandurah, Cannington, Midland and Osborne Park will share in the whopping cash injection, aimed at relieving the outstretched health care system.

The centre will also provide greater choice for patients as it handles urgent, but non-emergency patients who would normally go to Peel Health Campus' emergency department for treatment.

In 2016-17, there were more than 830,000 emergency department patients in WA with 51 per cent in the lowest urgency category.

These centres significantly reduce the pressure on emergency departments by creating a facility that can attend to urgent but non-emergency patients.

Canning MP Andrew Hastie

Canning MP Andrew Hastie, who has campaigned with Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup to improve resources at PHC for more than 12 months, said the urgent care centre was "huge news" for Mandurah.

"For a long time locals in Mandurah have been concerned that the emergency department of the Peel Health Campus is insufficiently resourced to cope with our growing population and I share their concerns," Mr Hastie said.

"Our doctors and nurses do a great job, but they're overworked.

"The announcement in last night's budget that an urgent medical care centre will be built in Mandurah is huge news for our city.

"These centres significantly reduce the pressure on emergency departments by creating a facility that can attend to urgent but non-emergency patients."

The funding pledge is in addition to the $25 million announced in February to overhaul the outdated facility.

The money will be used to expand the emergency department, construct a new Community Mental Health facility and residential eating disorder treatment centre and refurbish the medical imaging department.

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Mr Kirkup said Labor seemed to be "missing in action" while the Liberal-National government continued to fund the facility.

"An urgent care centre in Mandurah is a game changer for our community. It once again demonstrates just how hard Andrew Hastie has worked for us in Canberra and delivered for our community here locally," he said.

"Since the Liberals have been elected, we've seen more money than ever before go into our hospital and local health system.

"I'm still fighting for the state government to step up to the plate and finally deliver something of significance for Peel Health Campus, but there is no doubt this announcement will definitely help lessen the strain on our emergency department."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten recently committed to a $6 million 10-bed withdrawal unit at PHC as part of their plan to tackle the regional ice scourge, which will be implemented if Labor wins the upcoming election.

Mr Shorten joined Labor's federal candidate for Canning Mellisa Teede at the hospital facility in March to reveal a $20 million funding pledge for dedicated mental health facilities at four WA hospitals.

Alongside the money for Mandurah, the investment will also fund a mental health emergency centre and 10-bed withdrawal unit for Midland Hospital as well as an alcohol and drugs urgent care clinic for Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and a and mental health emergency centres for Rockingham Hospital.

Based on our nearly three years of evidence in running three urgent care centres, we're confident this will make a real difference.

St John WA chief executive officer Michelle Fyfe

The federal funding announcement compliments the additional $3.5 billion WA will receive for public hospitals as part of the new hospitals agreement.

Federal minister for health Greg Hunt said this funding would allow for a four year trial run of the urgent care centres.

"Together the seven urgent care centres, four new and three existing, will be able to treat 231,000 patients a year," he said.

"Approximately one third, or 77,000 of these patients, would normally present at public hospital emergency department."

St John WA chief executive officer Michelle Fyfe said the urgent care centres would have a long-term, positive impact on the Australian pre-hospital system.

"Based on our nearly three years of evidence in running three urgent care centres, we're confident this will make a real difference," she said.

"This trial will provide data to conclusively prove the positive impact that Urgent Care has on the health system."