Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, has called on WA Labor to honour its $167 million promise to deliver critically needed hospital upgrades at Joondalup Health Campus (JHC).
Perth’s emergency departments are close to crisis point with St John Ambulance reporting that ambulance ramping times are the worst the organisation has seen. In a recent instance at JHC, 120 patients were waiting to be treated with seven ambulances ramped – at a facility designed to treat just 55 people.
WA Health Department records revealed JHC had the longest emergency department wait times for the first half of 2019. On 25 June 2019, patients were ramped in the car park at JHC for over 50 hours. On some days, more than 80% of patients were waiting longer than they should.
“These figures are completely unacceptable – WA Labor’s $167 million of health funding cuts to Joondalup Health Campus are hurting everyone living in our northern suburbs,” Mr Porter said.
“The Federal Liberal Government has promised and already delivered on its share of funding to JHC of $158 million, but we’ve seen nothing of the promised additional funding from WA Labor.”
At the 2017 state election, Mark McGowan promised $167 million for JHC and in March 2018 acknowledged that the Federal Liberal Government’s commitment of $158 million was in addition to his own election commitment of $167 million, when he said: “The commitment we made stands but, obviously the Federal commitment assists us,” (The West Australian, 8 March 2018).
“The people of our community desperately need additional health services at Joondalup,” Mr Porter said.
“And it isn’t just emergency departments that are struggling – elective surgery waitlists have blown out by 18% over the last 12 months with over 2,000 people waiting for elective surgery at JHC.
“State Labor Members, Sabine Winton and Mark Folkard, must stand up for their communities and deliver what they promised.
“WA Labor needs to stick to its commitment of $167 million of upgrades at JHC and get on with the job of providing vital health services for our community.”
West Australian Shadow Minister for Health, Zak Kirkup, says there is no reason for WA Labor to continue to deny funding for critical upgrades at JHC.
“The McGowan Labor Government is a beneficiary of an unprecedented share of the GST thanks to Christian Porter and the Liberal Party, a high iron ore price and a low Australian dollar,” Mr Kirkup said.
“They are a government swimming in cash, it's about time Joondalup Hospital got its fair share.
“All we're asking is that the McGowan Labor Government does what it promised during the election. It's time to walk the walk, invest and expand Joondalup Health Campus.
“The hospital is already under pressure, it is the busiest emergency department in Western Australia, and it's only going to get busier as the northern suburbs continue to grow.
“Together with the community, Christian Porter and I won't stop fighting until Joondalup gets the hospital it was promised by WA Labor.”
Mr Porter and Mr Kirkup have urged residents to stop Labor from holding back our hospital by signing the petition here: www.holdingbackourhospital.com