New ward opened

• Premier Mark McGowan, health minister Amber-Jade Sanderson and Fremantle MP Simone McGurk visit patient David Holt in the new neuro-rehabilitation ward. Photo by Steve Grant.

PREMIER Mark McGowan opened a new rehabilitation ward for older patients with cognitive issues at Fremantle Hospital on Thursday as part of a $1.2 billion pre-Budget health announcement.

The 26 “dementia-friendly” beds in the $8.5m wing will be supported by 89 new medical, nursing, allied health and ancilliary staff, with the government committing to opening 530 beds across WA.

“Positioning WA’s public health system for the future is a key priority for my government, as is evidenced by our record spending on vital infrastructure projects,” Mr McGowan said.

“We have a strong track record of investing in WA public hospitals and setting up quality healthcare facilities for future generations.”

As the Chook walked up the back lane to the upgraded D Block the faded tin, rusty piping and stained exterior brickwork was a clear reminded of how far the hospital was from its prime, though, and a stark contrast to the new neuro-rehabilitation ward being opened inside.

Fremantle Labor MP Simone McGurk, who attended the opening, said the new ward would let clinicians move suitable patients straight from emergency to the best ward for the care they needed.

“This is particularly important for patients who have dementia and are cognitively impaired,” Ms McGurk said.

“Being moved around the hospital can be confusing for them so the ability to treat them in one ward will be hugely beneficial.”

One of the first to be admitted to the ward was Applecross resident David Holt, a consulting mechanical engineeer who shared a few jokes with the premier. Mr Holt was full of praise for the new ward, saying it was so comfortable that it would be difficult to return home once he’d recovered.


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