Women and their babies in the Fremantle and hills areas will have access to safer and more modern facilities with the reconfiguration of maternity services from April next year.
Health Minister Jim McGinty said the transfer of maternity services from Fremantle’s ageing Woodside Hospital to Kaleeya Hospital less than one kilometre away and the relocation of maternity services from Kalamunda Hospital to Swan District Hospital in Midland would provide significant benefits for mothers and their babies.
“Kaleeya is a modern hospital which will provide a safer and more comfortable environment for women and their babies in the Fremantle area,” Mr McGinty said.
“Expectant mothers at the upgraded Swan District Hospital will have access to new birthing and delivery facilities with ensuites, along with new antenatal facilities.
”Importantly, Kaleeya and Swan provide the services of a wider hospital complex, including additional operating theatres and medical staff onsite 24 hours a day.
“There will also be the convenience of single rooms with ensuite bathrooms for mothers and their new-born babies.”
Mr McGinty said the transfer of maternity services from Woodside and Kalamunda had been earmarked for some time, in line with the recommendations of the Reid Report and the State-wide Obstetrics Services Review conducted by Dr Harry Cohen.
“Woodside is an outdated facility with just one operating theatre, no after-hours medical coverage onsite, dull rooms and no ensuites,” the Minister said.
“While we understand that some local people have an emotional attachment to Woodside, the decision to transfer services is purely for the safety and comfort of women and their babies.
“For women in the Kalamunda region, Swan District Hospital is just 15 minutes away and provides the full services of a secondary hospital including a 24-hour emergency department, multiple operating theatres and 24-hour, on-site obstetric care.”
Mr McGinty said maternity services for women in the eastern metropolitan region would be even further enhanced with the construction of the $182.7million, 326-bed general hospital in Midland by 2010-11 to replace the old Swan District Hospital.
“Medical services at Swan, including maternity services, will continue to be maintained and upgraded where necessary until the new Midland hospital opens its doors so patient care is not disrupted in any way,” he said.
Kalamunda Hospital will be upgraded as a sub-acute and primary care facility, specialising in aged care, rehabilitation, palliative care and mental health services.
The Minister said the capital cost of transferring services from Woodside to Kaleeya would be relatively low and ultimately generate savings of more than $2million a year, while the move from Kalamunda to Swan would also result in recurrent savings of about $500,000 per year.
“These savings will be redistributed into health services elsewhere within the areas,” he said.
“The relocation of the maternity services from Woodside and Kalamunda is part of the State Government’s commitment to provide improved and expanded maternity services throughout Western Australia over the next 15 years.
“The Gallop Government is committed to improving the quality of services to all Western Australians wherever they live.”
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