Liberals plan to tackle ambulance gridlock at WA hospitals

Zak Kirkup and the Liberals will invest $240.5 million in a comprehensive health plan to tackle the ambulance gridlock crisis in Western Australia, with the key plank ensuring that every bed in every ward in every hospital is open. 

“This policy is about fixing a health system that the Labor Government has broken and refuses to fix, even with a staggering Budget surplus of $3.1 billion,” said Mr Kirkup, the Liberal leader. 

“Clearly, Labor have no plan. The Liberals have a comprehensive plan to tackle ambulance gridlock. We will invest in the health service, expand emergency departments and ensure that every bed in every ward in every hospital throughout Western Australia is open. 

“It is appalling that Labor are stockpiling $3.1 billion rather than spending it now to keep West Australians safe. Labor are putting the lives of West Australians at risk because ambulance gridlock is the worst it has ever been, with record levels for five consecutive months. 

“That is completely unacceptable when WA has not had community spread of COVID-19 for more than 10 months. 

“While the Premier has been fully occupied by the pandemic, Labor have completely mismanaged WA’s health system. 

“Our frontline health workers have done an amazing job keeping West Australians safe during the pandemic and deserve better. 

“As a volunteer ambulance officer, I have an appreciation of their tireless commitment and dedication to the community.” 

Mr Kirkup said ambulance ramping took paramedics off the road and meant massive delays in emergency response times. 

“Labor continue to allow sick West Australians who desperately need medical attention to be stuck in the back of ambulances for hours on end,” he said. 

“Besides making sure every bed in hospitals is open, our policy also includes key initiatives which will take the pressure off emergency departments by delivering important health services at home. 

The Liberals will: 

  • Within the first 100 days, undertake a comprehensive audit of WA’s public hospital bed needs. 
  • Invest $40 million immediately to reduce the elective surgery waitlist by about 6500 cases through a collaborative approach with the private sector which will relieve pressure on public hospital beds. 
  • Invest $40 million to boost palliative care services provided at home throughout Western Australia. 
  • Invest $20 million over four years to standardise Mental Health Observation Areas across the metropolitan region. It is envisaged that the four current locations be expanded to 12 treatment bays each to reduce pressure on Emergency Departments. 
  • Invest $30 million to provide three new regional Mental Health Observation Areas. 
  • Invest $30 million to boost Health In The Home services provided by Silver Chain in Western Australia. 
  • Invest $40 million to create a fund to boost community health services in WA. 

Mr Kirkup said the Liberals would also deliver improved health outcomes with: 

  • $3.5 million to deliver a youth health hub in Bunbury to benefit young people and their families. 
  • $5 million to commence in-home trials of chemotherapy treatments. 
  • $16 million for the acquisition of two Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft. 
  • $7 million for the investment in a Mobile Stroke Unit trial across Perth & Peel. 

“These initiatives are integral to the Liberals’ plan for a safer Western Australia,” Mr Kirkup said. 

“We will keep West Australians safe from COVID-19 and safe in their home and community.”