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Peel to become state-run public hospital, massive upgrade promised

The state government will end the privatisation of Peel Health Campus and has promised a $152 million upgrade.

From 2023, the facility will be brought back into public hands as a state-run hospital, although there will be a tender for an adjoining private hospital at the site.

The announcements comes after the Mandurah Mail earlier this month reported Murray-Wellington MP Robyn Clarke saying the state government was not prepared to invest more money into the hospital until the current management contract expired.

Infrastructure at the Mandurah hospital has been a hot topic over the last three years, with the Mail leading a campaign calling for expenditure at the medical centre.

The Premier on Sunday announced that the existing 890 hospital staff would keep their jobs, including long service leave and paid parental leave entitlements.

As part of the plan, which has yet to be finalised, the new $152 million redevelopment and expansion of Peel Health Campus, would include:

  • 63 additional inpatient beds (which will deliver 219 public beds)
  • 12 chemotherapy places
  • 20 mental health inpatient beds
  • one additional operating theatre
  • at least 15 palliative care hospice beds
  • more outpatient services
  • new build of medical imaging services; and
  • the introduction of a 10-bed Mental Health Emergency Centre

The emergency department and the day procedure units would also be reconfigured.

Funding to plan and deliver the $152 million project has been provisioned along with a one-off $19.5 million allocation for transition costs in the 2020-21 mid-year review.

Dawesville MP Zak Kirkup, who is also Shadow Health Minister and since last week leader of the WA Liberal party, told parliament last week that "2023 is too long to wait before we see investment into our hospital".

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However, as part of the promise, the state would spend $2 million over the next 18 months developing the business case for the expansion.

A program of work would be undertaken "as quickly as possible for a request for proposal next year", to tender the private hospital component of the hospital.

The hospital will continue to be managed by Ramsay Health Care until the end of the current contract, which expires on August 13, 2023.

Ramsay chief executive Andrew Tome said the organisation was disappointed that its contract would not be renewed but planned to tender for the management of the private hospital.

The next steps will include the Department of Health submitting a business case, project definition plan and a tender prepared to find the preferred private partner for the site.

The new investment comes on top of the $10 million upgrades the state government is already delivering at Peel Health Campus.

The works include a $5 million upgrade to the emergency department, comprising a new fast-track area to improve patient triage, new holding bays, a reconfiguration of the existing triage area, redesign of the emergency department waiting room and additional beds to the short-stay unit to streamline and improve patient flow.

Construction works recommenced in July following interruptions from the pandemic.

The initial Peel Health Care health service agreement was first executed in June 1997 and became operational on August 13, 1998. It was in place for an initial term of 20 years and in 2016 was extended with a variation to August 2023.

Premier Mark McGowan said it the was biggest upgrade in the history of the hospital.

"Earlier this year we were able to bring back some Fiona Stanley Hospital services to public hands, and now we can put an end to privatised services at Peel Health Campus," Mr McGowan said.

Mayor Rhys Williams welcomed the announcement.

"This is exciting news and is going to mean a significant increase in beds, dedicated mental health care and more specialist services available," Mayor Williams said.

"Mandurah and its surrounds continues to grow at a rapid pace, with more than 500,000 people expected to live within a 30 to 40 minute drive of Mandurah's city centre by 2050, and [the] announcement will ensure our health services are able to service today's population and meet that growth into the future.

"[The] announcement will put many minds at ease for our local community who rely on this hospital for their health needs.

"This massive commitment by the State Government will see the creation of the most significant hospital in Perth's southern corridors, once again highlighting the importance of Mandurah as the thriving southern centre for the capital city.

"This really marks a milestone moment for the Mandurah community and I thank the Mandurah MP David Templeman for his role in making it happen, and also all those across our community who have joined the chorus in calling for this over many years."