Hospital needs its mojo

LABOR says it will review Fremantle Hospital’s management if it wins the state election this month, with the aim of getting the facility’s mojo back.

Shadow health minister Roger Cook and Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk say the review will look at selling parts of the hospital site to fund refurbishments and expand services.

“The review is about getting a fresh approach, because this is an internationally renowned hospital and it needs to get back its sense of purpose,” Mr Cook told the Herald.

“Some of the buildings are being unused and we are keen to see how we can bring new life to the campus.”

Ms McGurk says the neglect of the hospital is clearly visible in its facade; batons were coming loose from the ceiling of the walkway where their press conference was being held, while the nearby roof of the old Red Cross blood centre is rusted through.

• Simone McGurk and Roger Cook.

• Simone McGurk and Roger Cook.

She says there are reports wards have been closed.

“This shouldn’t be happening at a time there’s record waiting lists,” Ms McGurk said.

Mr Cook said the review would look at what other services could be housed at the hospital.

“Initially it was to be geriatrics, and I understand that is getting some of the way, but we want to look at other high-level care options such as orthopaedics,” he said.

Labor would also prioritise Fremantle as a venue for one of its urgent care clinics, which are a light version of  emergency departments which take care of sprains or people with the flu.

Mr Cook says the clinics will take the strain off emergency departments.

“You know there’s record ambulance ramping, and 30 per cent of people in the emergency departments don’t need to be there.

“Fremantle would be a priority because people feel that there ED has been taken away.”

Last month Labor announced it would also expand birthing options at Fiona Stanley Hospital by creating a new family birthing centre, along similar lines to the one at King Edward Memorial Hospital.The centre would offer midwife-led care to women with low-risk pregnancies.

by STEVE GRANT

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