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WA’s $8.8 billion health budget

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Health Minister Roger Cook at a dental health rally

Health Minister Roger Cook at a dental health rally

Photo by CPSU/CSA (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo by CPSU/CSA (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Health Minister Roger Cook at a dental health rally

Linton Price, Reporter

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This year the State Government is putting 29% of the state’s budget into healthcare. Though the spending is a reduction of 2.4% from last year’s budget, the government has laid out a list of investments into WA hospitals.

According to the government, $24.9 million is to be invested in Osborne Park Hospital to expand rehabilitative, neonatal and midwifery services.

In a media release, Premier Mark McGowan said, “The Osborne Park Hospital expansion will enhance the hospital and health care experience for thousands of northern suburbs patients who require maternity and rehabilitation services.”

The budget details that $1.8 million is being spent on a new family birthing centre at the Fiona Stanley Hospital, which will focus on midwifery and ‘home-like’ care for patients.

Health Minister Roger Cook said in another media statement that, “A family birthing centre provides women with a more homely environment and means others, such as partners and children, can be involved in the birthing process.”

The budget also outlines a $158 million expansion to the Joondalup Health Campus.

However, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has expressed concerns.

President of the AMA, Dr Omar Khorshid, said to the Midland Reporter, “The 2018-19 State Budget was presented as one that provides for a ‘steady and real course back to surplus’.

“We’ve seen an overall cut in the health budget, but a small rise in money given to hospital services.

“However, even this is a cut in real terms.”

Dr Khorshid expressed his concern for hospitals such as the King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, which the budget largely ignored.

In March 2018, Dr Khorshid said, “The situation at King Edward Memorial Hospital is especially worrying. A total of $1.1 million was allocated to new works at the hospital in the 2017-18 State Budget, with $325,000 allocated to holding expenses and a Maternal Foetal Assessment.

“The fact that there is no other significant investment for KEMH, and no clear funding in the future raises serious questions about the sustainability of the hospital and the provision of specialist healthcare to women and babies in WA.

“Patient care should not suffer at the hands of a government razor committee.”

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About the Writer
Linton Price, Reporter

Linton is an aspiring writer, studying Writing and Journalism at Edith Cowan University. He wishes to pursue a career in online journalism with a focus on emergent technologies and the internet.

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WA’s $8.8 billion health budget