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Attorney General; Minister for Health; Electoral Affairs
Delivering a healthy WA - record capital works for country health
10/06/2005 12:00 AM
Record spending on health infrastructure and recruitment of extra medical staff in country Western Australia will give people in rural and remote areas better hospitals and services.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said a massive construction program for regional health services in the coming financial year would significantly improve the standard and access to care for thousands of people in the bush.
“Every hospital in the Kimberley Region will be replaced or undergo a major upgrade as a result of an $81million spending program,” Mr McGinty said.
“A new residential aged care facility has just opened in Kununurra and the first new hospital will be open for business in Halls Creek by August.
“There are major developments under way in other regions, including the new $49million hospital in Geraldton, which will be receiving its first patients in a few weeks’ time.”
The Minister said Geraldton was one of five hospitals around the State being redeveloped as a Regional Resource Centre.
“It is vital we upgrade these hospitals because people in those towns and surrounding regions are attracted to regional centres by a high standard of health services,” he said.
The Government has also committed to a complete replacement of the old Port Hedland Regional Hospital on a new site in South Hedland and the first $14.65million stage of construction will start soon.
“The second $65million stage of construction has been given a huge boost with this year’s State Budget allocation of $5.5million for design planning,” Mr McGinty said.
Planning for a $20million upgrade of the Albany Regional Resource Centre has begun, and a $30million upgrade program for the Kalgoorlie Regional Resource Centre is scheduled to begin in 2008.
The redevelopment of Broome Hospital as a regional resource centre is expected to be completed in 2008.
Other initiatives under the Gallop Government’s country capital works program include:
New $6.8million dental clinic in Kununurra and additional acute beds (due for completion in December 2006).
Pilbara Gascoyne Region
$2.5million towards upgrades to the emergency department and theatres to keep the old Port Hedland Hospital in serviceable condition in the interim (due August 2005).
Goldfields South East Region
$3.9million Warburton Clinic replacement (due December 2005).
Mid-West Murchison Region
Planning under way for the $890,000 Multi Purpose Health Centre in Morawa.
The new $8.7million Moora District Health Centre is under construction (due late 2006).
Great Southern Region
Design planning will be under way for the new Denmark Multipurpose Centre.
Mr McGinty said a further $2.9million had been allocated in 2005-06 for renewal of country housing to attract and retain medical staff to rural and remote areas.
He said $1.5million would be spent on replacing houses in Port Hedland that had passed their use-by date.
The Minister said the Government had employed an additional 41 medical positions in country WA over the last two years including five paediatricians, four psychiatrists, two obstetricians, orthopaedic and general surgeons.
“The Gallop Government is committed to improving the quality of services in regional WA to ensure everyone receives their fair share,” Mr McGinty said.
Minister's Office - 9220 5000