John Day

John Day


Richard Court

Richard Court


    Premier announces new authorities to further improve Perth's public health services

    1/11/2000 12:20 PM

    The role of the Metropolitan Health Service Board (MHSB) in the budget co-ordination and operational planning of Perth’s public metropolitan health services is to be enhanced by establishing four new health authorities.

    This will involve the creation of the Eastern Metropolitan Health Authority, the Northern Metropolitan Health Authority, the Southern Metropolitan Health Authority and the Western Australian Women’s and Children’s Health Authority.

    Premier Richard Court said the MHSB would continue its ‘over-arching’ role in co-ordinating the budget and planning of the delivery of health services in the metropolitan area closer to where patients live.

    Under the changes, the four health authorities would be established to assist the MHSB in its role and they would undertake the day to day operational matters for hospitals and health services in their particular region.

    Mr Court said the changes had been developed by the State Government in consultation with the Australian Medical Association, which had been concerned that there was not enough direct local input into the operational management of the public health system by clinicians, nurses and community members.

    “Both the Government and the AMA have a shared goal of improving the management and delivery of services in our public hospital system,” the Premier said.

    AMA (WA) President Dr Simon Towler said these changes had been developed with one guiding principle in mind - ensuring patients received the best possible care when they entered the public health system.

    “The AMA congratulates the Premier on his leadership and commitment to healthcare and is looking forward to working with the State Government to make the new health structure happen immediately,” Dr Towler said.

    “In terms of quality and affordability of care, our health system ranks among the best in the world. However, we will continue to look at ways to improve the system and these latest changes are a further demonstration of that commitment.”

    Health Minister John Day said the new health authorities would now be established under the Hospital and Health Services Act, with any necessary legislation to be introduced in the first parliamentary session next year.

    “In the meantime, the mechanics to put these new authorities into operation will commence immediately and our goal is to have this completed prior to Christmas,” Mr Day said.

    “We believe these new authorities will greatly assist the MHSB and build on the work it has already done.

    “For example, the creation of a specific authority for women’s and children’s health will enhance the future development of these specialised services.”

    Mr Day said the authorities would have specific responsibilities and would comprise:
    • The Eastern Metropolitan Health Authority - Royal Perth Hospital, Bentley Health Service, Kalamunda Health Service, Swan Health Service;
    • Southern Metropolitan Health Authority - Fremantle Hospital and Health Service, Rockingham/Kwinana Health Service, Armadale-Kelmscott Health Service;
    • Northern Metropolitan Health Authority -Osborne Park Hospital and community health services in the North Metropolitan Health Service, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Graylands Selby-Lemnos and Special Care Health Services; and -
    • The Western Australian Women’s and Children’s Health Authority - responsible for King Edward Memorial Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital.

    Mr Day said the management of each authority would be overseen by a board including representatives of the MHSB (one of which will chair the authority), medical practitioners, the nursing profession, the community and members with business expertise.

    “The relationship between the MHSB and the health authorities will be clearly defined, with the MHSB acting as a co-ordinating unit for the entire metropolitan area,” he said.

    “The MHSB will also manage the newly established integrated clinical services in mental health, aged care and rehabilitation, as well as the highly successful waiting list strategy.

    “The MHSB will also retain responsibility for core accounting services, information technology, purchasing and supply and key components of human resources.

    ”The end result will be a refined management structure that will further ensure that patient care is a priority in our health system.

    “Since the Coalition Government came to office, this priority has been acknowledged and health spending has increased by 58 per cent, or $718 million - with the total expenditure now nearly $2 billion.”

    Media contacts:

    Casey Cahill (Premier's Office) 9222 9475
    Carole Cowling (John Day's Office) 9213 6600
    Stewart Richmond (AMA) 0407 577 585