Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Labor News

WA Labor to build $95million mental health facility at Joondalup Health Campus

Labor Statement

A McGowan Labor Government will invest $95million to build a 100-bed mental health facility at Joondalup and grow Joondalup Health Campus into a tertiary hospital, Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook said today.

Mr Cook said this would include a 20-bed mental health facility for youths living in the northern suburbs.

"The northern corridor is one of the fastest growing regions of our State and the country," Mr Cook said.

"We have seen phenomenal population growth in recent years, which in turn has resulted in extraordinary demand for hospital services.

"Joondalup Health Campus is the major hospital in Perth's northern corridor, providing a range of adult and paediatric emergency and elective services.

"It is the only provider of acute inpatient mental health services in Perth's northern corridor and treats on average 55 patients with serious mental health conditions each day despite having just 42 mental health inpatient rooms."

Mr Cook said the lack of available mental health beds at Joondalup Health Campus was severely affecting the operation of its Emergency Department.

"In recent months this has resulted in patients with serious mental health conditions occupying up to one-third of all adult bays in the Emergency Department for extended periods of time," he said.

"Not only is this detrimental to the recovery of those patients suffering from mental illness but it also impacts on other patients with emergency conditions who are required to wait longer than they otherwise would to be seen by a clinician.

"This is why WA Labor will build a 100 bed mental health facility at Joondalup Health Campus.

"We will also provide $18million recurrent funding to immediately commission 26 beds for mental health patients who present to the Campus, to relieve pressure from the Emergency Department."

Member for Joondalup Tony O'Gorman said despite the growing pressures on health services in the northern corridor, Colin Barnett decided to halt plans for the Joondalup Health Campus to operate as a fully-fledged tertiary facility.

"Joondalup Health Campus has the busiest Emergency Department in the State," he said.

"But staff are forced to transfer more than 1000 emergency patients each year to hospitals 30kms away because the hospital doesn't have all the services the community needs.

"The original Western Australian Clinical Services Framework 2005-2015 recommended Joondalup Health Campus be developed as a tertiary hospital by 2016.

"Mr Barnett has the wrong priorities and is focused on inner city projects such as Elizabeth Quay, while our health services groan under the pressure of increased demand.

"WA Labor has the right priorities and knows that a good Government must invest in the health of its citizens.

"WA Labor recognises the crisis in mental health and the immediate need for action to improve mental health services in Western Australia.

"WA Labor is committed to providing better hospitals for Western Australians, and driving down wait lists."

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