WA Budget: Seemingly little for GPs – but plenty for hospitals

Doug Hendrie

11/05/2018 12:10:17 PM

Western Australia’s state budget has money for hospitals, but very little that will affect GPs.

WA’s regional hospitals have been given a boost.
WA’s regional hospitals have been given a boost.

Regional hospitals did particularly well in the WA state budget.

Geraldton Hospital will get almost $80 million for a redevelopment, including a $6 million offsite mental health facility, while Joondalup Hospital will get $158 million for new operating theatres, an expanded emergency department and a stroke unit.

The Pilbara will get a boost, too, with $46 million to be spent continuing the redevelopment of the Newman Health Service, the hospital in the region’s largest town.

But two Perth hospitals in need of redevelopment missed out. No money was allocated to the long-sought redevelopment of the Royal Perth Hospital, despite the Federal Government promising $20 million for the project. The hospital will receive almost $12 million for a mental health observation centre.

The state’s largest maternity hospital, the King Edward Memorial Hospital, also missed out on redevelopment, despite doctors last year complaining of ‘dilapidated facilities’.

Instead, pressure will be taken off the hospital with almost $25 million to be spent expanding the nearby Osborne Park Hospital’s rehabilitative, neonatal and midwifery services. 

To tackle the scourge of methamphetamine use, the State Government has allocated $9.3 million to speed up the provision of 33 more drug and alcohol rehabilitation beds in the state’s south-west, which has been particularly badly affected by the drug.

The regions will also be helped by a major $182 million boost to the Patient Assisted Travel Scheme, helping regional patients travel to major centres for specific treatment.

The WA Government will spend $47 million replacing old medical equipment.

The Government’s first Urgent Care Clinic is being built at the Royal Perth Hospital. These clinics are designed to take the pressure off overcrowded emergency departments, and treat patients with behavioural disturbances or who are affected by drugs in a calmer environment. 

The Government is also building a specialist hotel next to the Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth for patients who have been discharged from hospital but who are still recovering, to free up hospital beds.

budget healthcare western-australia

newsGP weekly poll Which of the RACGP’s 2022 Advocacy Priorities would most benefit your practice?

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