A NEW hospital will be built in North Wanneroo sometime in the next five years with Health Minister Roger Cook saying population growth would determine the timeline.
Mr Cook’s comment was made at a health forum for residents of the cities of Wanneroo and Joondalup held on Thursday, September 12 in answer to a question by Two Rocks Yanchep Residents Association secretary Lorraine Jackson.
When Mrs Jackson asked Mr Cook what discussions were being had about a hospital in the Eglinton-Alkimos-Yanchep area he said there was no timeline but certainly in the next five years with the decision to be driven by population growth in the area.
Mr Cook said he was committed to three things in the Health portfolio – innovation (using technology to change delivery, integration (between state hospitals and federally-funded GPs) and cultural (change not getting immersed in statistics and forgetting about the individual patient).
He said there was a need to find ways to contain spending in the Health portfolio otherwise it would take over the state Budget.
When he was first elected to Parliament in 2008 Health consumed 26 per cent of the Budget but by the time he became Health Minister it accounted for more than 30 per cent.
The just launched GP Urgent Care Clinic network pilot model will allow community-based GPs to care for patients with urgent but non-life-threatening medical conditions.
He said people would now have more options of healthcare for non-emergency situations that were closer to home.
He talked about the Voluntary Assisted Dying laws, which he said were about compassion and safety and not about suicide but about people who were “sliding to home base” and needed a safe option to end their suffering.
“We know we need to do more with palliative care even after providing $41 million,’’ he said.
Mr Cook also said the government needed to better support Silver Chain, which could do a lot to provide palliative care, which was what people wanted.
About the upgrade to Joondalup hospital he said he was aware more emergency department capacity, more in-patient beds and more operating theatres as well as more car parking were required.
Representatives, including Maureen Cuddy from the Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group, which successfully lobbied the government for a 12-bed unit to provide stroke care closer to home for people in Perth’s northern suburbs also attended the forum.
The stroke unit at Joondalup officially opened in March this year.
Dying With Dignity advocates were also in attendance.