Women and Babies Hospital ‘Captain’s Call’ challenged by medical experts

Jul 28, 2023 | Libby Mettam MLA, State News

The Cook Labor Government must listen to expert advice released today by the WA Australian Medical Association and immediately reverse its decision to relocate the new Women and Babies Hospital to Murdoch.

WA Liberal Leader and Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam says Premier Cook and Health Minister Sanderson’s obstinate refusal to listen to world-leading medical advice on the best location for the hospital is arrogant and risks the lives and futures of critically ill babies in this state.

“To hear the AMA say today that not one clinician or medical consumer group was involved in the decision to change the location to Murdoch is actually very frightening,” Ms Mettam said.

“That this Government would, in five minutes, without consultation, overturn a decade of research that unanimously found the QEII site to be the optimum location shows a complete disregard for the best interests of Western Australians.

“The Government’s ongoing refusal to release the business case which it says supports the move to Murdoch is also somewhat suspicious – what does the Government not want us to know?”

Two months ago, Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson committed to Parliament, during Budget Estimates, to release the business case ‘within weeks’.

“While no-one ever thought the build on the QEII site would be easy, no-one thought the Government would be so lazy as to just walk away from it,” Ms Mettam said.

“Over the past decade millions of taxpayers dollars has been spent preparing WABH for the QEII site, and now Labor points to a $16,500 back-of-an-envelope feasibility study to support their captain’s call.”

Libby Mettam said Health Minister Sanderson could no longer dismiss the concerns of those opposed to the move to Murdoch as ‘a small number of clinicians’ and Premier Cook’s commitment to being consultative is nothing but lip-service.

“These are the most qualified people in the field of neo-natal and obstetric care begging Premier Cook to reconsider a decision which they say will unequivocally put the lives of newborn babies and mothers at risk,” Ms Mettam said.

“In addition, this will remove the best quality obstetric and neonatal care from all mothers and babies in the northern suburbs.

“The default hospital for mothers in the north with high-risk pregnancies will not be the new world-class Womens and Babies Hospital but Osborne Park Hospital, which will not be co-located with either a tertiary adult hospital or a specialist children’s hospital.”

“The Cook Labor Government must stop being lazy and arrogant and move the Women’s and Babies Hospital back to QEII.”