- State Budget to include a $100 million emergency department support package
- Part of the massive $1.9 billion additional health investment in the 2021-22 Budget
- Package includes at least 50 additional full-time equivalent staff in emergency departments including medical, nursing, allied health and support services
- $37 million for tailored support to individuals with complex mental health needs who repeatedly present at emergency departments
- $24.6 million for new mental health emergency centres in Rockingham and Armadale
- Additional staff for patient monitoring in waiting areas at Perth Children's Hospital emergency department
- $2.3 million to expand the virtual emergency medicine system to improve ambulance and emergency department pathways from Fiona Stanley Hospital to Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus
Perth's emergency departments will be bolstered with a massive $100 million funding injection as part of the upcoming 2021-22 State Budget, which will see at least 50 additional full time equivalent staff employed, including medical, nursing, allied health and support services.
The $100 million package forms part of a massive $1.9 billion in additional health investment to meet the unprecedented demand in the public health system.
It is designed to improve patient flow, reduce bed block, relieve ambulance congestion and better support the health workforce.
Health Minister Roger Cook made the announcement today while touring the virtual emergency medicine system at Fiona Stanley Hospital, which during the first month of this pilot successfully reduced ramping by 25 per cent.
The system uses technology to triage patients in ambulances and, where appropriate, divert them away from the emergency department to suitable inpatient services. It includes a dedicated clinical team providing the services seven days a week.
The $2.3 million boost will allow the cutting edge system to expand to include Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus in order to improve ambulance and emergency department flow.
Mr Cook also announced a $4.8 million boost for the Perth Children's Hospital emergency department, to employ an additional 16 nurses. This will allow an additional nurse on every shift to be based in the emergency department waiting area to monitor patients.
The $100 million package includes a $61.6 million mental health support component:
- $7.9 million for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to reduce waitlists and increase staff;
- the construction of two new mental health emergency centres at Rockingham and Armadale hospitals - delivering on a key election commitment;
- a new multidisciplinary team pilot (Active Recovery Team), based at Rockingham, Peel, Murdoch, Osborne Park, Midland, City East, Bentley, Armadale, Northam and Geraldton. These teams will provide tailored community-based treatment to target individuals who repeatedly present at emergency departments as they recover from an acute or crisis episode; and
- an expansion of adult community treatment services that support people with mental health issues both after hours and on weekends to reduce pressure on emergency departments.
Comments attributed to Health Minister Roger Cook:
"Over the past 12 to 18 months throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our hospitals have been subject to an unprecedented increase in demand, which has put staff and resources under strain.
"This $100 million emergency department support package is part of the massive $1.9 billion investment, which will help alleviate pressure on the pointiest end of our health system.
"By combining a boost in staff, together with mental health initiatives and the latest virtual monitoring, we will be able to improve patient flow and better support our staff.
"We are investing $2.3 million into the virtual emergency medicine system to extend this service to Rockingham General Hospital and Peel Health Campus.
"This is an innovative project we are looking at to reduce wait times in our emergency departments.
"The McGowan Government's strong financial management over the past four and a half years has put the State's budget on a sustainable footing and given it capacity to provide this record funding boost which will benefit Western Australian patients and health workers."
Minister's office - 6552 6500