The $50million redevelopment of Albany Hospital will begin this year, with extra beds to be opened next year.
Premier Alan Carpenter said the redevelopment would ensure the community had access to better health facilities sooner and avoided a Liberal Party privatisation plan.
“The $50million redevelopment of Albany Hospital will provide more beds and more health services before the end of next year - not years and years down the track,” Mr Carpenter said.
“It would be well beyond 2013 before a new hospital could be built and under Troy Buswell’s Liberal Party, it would be a privatised hospital.
“It is now no secret that Mr Buswell would privatise our health services.”
(‘A State Liberal government would allow the private sector to build and retain ownership of public assets such as hospitals and schools under so called public-private partnerships, Opposition Leader Troy Buswell said yesterday.’
P.6 - The West Australian Newspaper 17/6/08)
“Mr Buswell followed up this promise with the announcement that he would dismantle the State’s premier children’s hospital, Princess Margaret, in favour of a privatised facility,” the Premier said.
“There is no doubt that Albany Hospital would fall into private hands under Mr Buswell.”
Mr Carpenter said his Government’s multi-million dollar redevelopment of the Albany Hospital was by far the better option.
“Planning for the expanded 13-bed mental health unit at Albany Hospital, which will provide four extra beds, is already under way,” he said.
“It is due to be completed by November next year.
“An upgrade of the maternity ward will also be completed in 2009 to ensure all birthing suites and rooms have ensuite facilities, and the nursery will be upgraded to a level two nursery so that more sick babies can be treated locally rather than being transferred to King Edward Memorial Hospital in Perth.
The Premier said that contrary to misinformation being spread in the community, there would be no reduction in the number of beds at Albany Hospital.
“A massive infrastructure upgrade to the hospital’s mains water supply, electrical power, heating and ventilation, domestic hot water supply system, sewerage and fire services will be undertaken, so the building’s infrastructure is able to deal with the future growth of services,” he said.
“The emergency department will more than double in capacity with an additional 10 treatment bays, taking it to 16, a new four-bed observation ward, two resuscitation bays, a procedure room and plaster room.
“A new day surgery unit funded by the Commonwealth will provide 12 new recovery beds and help cut elective surgery wait times and reduce the need for people to travel to Perth for their operations.”
It is expected that the new unit will allow an extra 620 same-day elective surgery and day procedures to be performed each year and free-up the existing 17 day-procedure beds for patients undergoing non-surgical medical procedures. In turn, this re-allocation will free-up beds in the surgical ward for people who need to have surgery as inpatients.
Other upgrades planned for Albany Hospital include:
· three new theatres;
· capacity for an additional five oncology chairs;
· upgrade of the sterilisation unit to private sector standards;
· co-locating a new endoscopy suite within the surgical services centre; and
· installation of a new digital radiography system.
The entire project is expected to be completed in 2011.
Mr Carpenter said the significant upgrade and expansion plan for Albany Hospital was the result of detailed planning.
“The Government has opted for a staged redevelopment of Albany Hospital in order to balance the need for more services now with the long-term needs of the region,” he said.
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