Cut the lights

LIGHTS failed midway through an operation at Fremantle Hospital last month, claims Labor Fremantle MP Simone McGurk.

Ms McGurk said staff were forced to navigate corridors with flashlights, and the incident was an indication of how the former Barnett government had let the hospital run down and drained it of staff; apparently there was no one around with the skills to ensure emergency generators kicked in.

A public Q&A session will be held by hospital management on Tuesday, outlining future services at the site following the recent downsizing and amalgamation of Fremantle with Fiona Stanley hospital.

Ms McGurk will attend and says she is keen to hear how locals have been affected by the cutbacks.

“WA Labor made an election commitment to review the hospital to ensure it is fully utilised and, if possible, become a specialist centre,” she says.

“You just have to walk past it to see that the Liberal state government was more interested in opening shiny new buildings rather than making sure all of our health infrastructure is fully utilised.

Cutbacks

“We have the absurd situation of ambulance ramping and waiting times in some facilities, while Fremantle Hospital has closed wards and idled resources.”

Since the cutbacks, Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has been calling on disused sections of the hospital to be redeveloped and reused.

With the Dockers finally agreeing last month to relinquish their lease for Fremantle Oval, it will soon be back under the city’s control, and Dr Pettitt says “there is a new opportunity to have parts of the Fremantle Hospital site incorporated into a major Fremantle Oval redevelopment”.

“It does present a huge opportunity to get that site reused and unused portions redeveloped,” Dr Pettitt said.

Paul Forden, executive Directer at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospitals Group, will run the information session.

“I’m looking forward to meeting with residents to talk about the future of both hospitals, particularly Fremantle, which I know holds a special place in this community,” he says.

The information session will be at Fremantle Town Hall, 6.30pm, on Tuesday April 4.

by JASMINE KAZLAUSKAS 

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