This week, the Mandurah Mail joined Peel Health Campus (PHC) chief executive Dr Margaret Sturdy for a tour of the hospital facility.
Interested in gaining a first-hand look at how the campus operates ahead of its biggest transformation since it was opened in 1997, we went behind the scenes of the busy emergency department.
After an extensive Mail campaign in early 2018 as well as increased political pressure and a public rally, the Peel Health Campus has since received funding to the tune of $10 million from the state government and $25 million from the federal government.
Over 34 weeks and 41 articles, the need for additional resources was highlighted and met with success in May 2018 when health minister Roger Cook pledged a $4.4 million cash injection earmarked for parking and increased security.
On top of that, the state government revealed a further $5 million in funding in September 2018 dedicated to an upgrade of the emergency department to include a new fast-track patient triage zone, a redesigned waiting room, new holding bays and the reconfiguration of the existing triage area.
In February 2019, any outstanding hospital woes were put to bed when federal health minister Greg Hunt joined Canning MP Andrew Hastie and Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup to announce $25 million for the Peel Health Campus.
Of the cash splash, $21 million will go towards the expansion of the emergency department, the construction of a new community mental health facility and a refurbishment of the medical imaging department.
The extra $4 million has been allocated for a residential eating disorder treatment centre.
On May 30, I got a sneak peek at some of the proposed plans for the PHC emergency department redevelopment, and, while discussions are still ongoing before the plans can be approved, it is a very exciting time for the hospital.
The reconfiguration of the emergency department will improve patient flow and privacy and create a more comfortable, spacious waiting room and additional funding will increase safety and security and update current resources.
While staff at PHC work tirelessly to do the best they can with what they have, the local ageing population is outgrowing the current facility and upgrades are essential to continue to meet the needs of the Peel region.
South Metropolitan Health Service chief executive Paul Forden confirmed in parliament in May that construction would get underway in January 2020 and be completed by July 2020.
Let's hope there are no delays to the project and we can quickly provide the services necessary for our doctors, nurses and paramedics to continue saving lives every day.