The Opposition's promise of a heart unit for Fremantle Hospital is a cruel hoax and desperation politics.
Health Minister Ian Taylor said the promise could not be taken seriously and was contrary to the wishes of a number of the State's top heart specialists.
He also doubted that the Opposition could fund the proposal.
"Mr Court's credibility is really on the line over this issue - he has taken the advice of two of his own politicians whose primary interest is hanging on to their seats at the election," Mr Taylor said.
"That advice is at odds with that from the heart surgeons, who say the campaign to have a heart surgery unit at Fremantle is `premature, unreasonably emotional, based on some misinformation and out of line with the logical development of heart surgery services for this State'.
"Not only is this announcement by Mr Court a blatant exercise in pork barrelling, it is a cruel hoax.
"Ironically, the Opposition's announcement comes at the same time as Sir Charles Gairdner has announced that the director of the new unit will be Mr Mark Newman, a cardiothoracic surgeon."
Mr Taylor said that demand for heart surgery in the Fremantle area was currently being met and would continue to be met. However, if or when demand reached the level where a heart unit was required, obviously Fremantle would be a prime candidate for such a unit.
When that situation was reached, the Government would fund a heart unit in Fremantle.
"The Opposition must also explain where the $12.7 million for their unit will come from. They claim it will be funded from efficiencies already identified, but how can you pay for something from funding cuts?
"Their policies will see $116 million ripped out of the public hospital system through `efficiency savings' and another $130 million slashed out of the system through the Fightback policy.
"The Opposition cannot give an undertaking that taxes and charges will be kept down - they also cannot explain how our public hospital system will be adequately funded."