Major Boost for Health Services in Regional WA

People living in regional WA will get a major boost in health and hospital services – including kidney dialysis treatment, pathology and dental care – under Australian Government funding.

Page last updated: 01 April 2014

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Joint Media Release

The Hon Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

The Hon Dr Kim Hames MLA
Deputy Premier of Western Australia
Minister for Health

1 April 2014

People living in regional WA will get a major boost in health and hospital services – including kidney dialysis treatment, pathology and dental care – under Australian Government funding announced today.

The Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the Commonwealth would provide a total of $56.3 million through the Health and Hospitals Fund to fund four new agreements with the WA Government.

“The Australian Government wants to ensure that as many West Australians as possible are able to get the quality health services they need, when they need them, not just in the cities, but across the state,” Mr Dutton said.

Under the Australian Government’s Bringing Renal Dialysis and Support Services Closer to Home project, $45.8 million has been allocated to expand renal infrastructure and dialysis and support services.

It will provide 17 additional renal dialysis chairs and 46 patient accommodation units for up to 92 patients meaning for the first time many patients with kidney disease will be able to receive dialysis in or near their communities.

Ten small and medium sized regional and remote hospitals across four regions of WA – Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields and Midwest – will be upgraded and expanded.

Two sites are located in the Goldfields region – Kalgoorlie and Esperance. Two sites are in the Midwest region – Geraldton and Carnarvon. The other six are at Fitzroy Crossing, Broome, Derby and Kununurra, in the Kimberley region; and Roebourne and Port Hedland, in the Pilbara region.

WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Dr Kim Hames said with increasing numbers of people with chronic kidney disease it was important to expand existing regional services and establish new services.

“This funding also recognises the importance of providing essential support services such as patient accommodation. It will reduce the need for many people to travel to Perth and will have social and economic benefits for communities.

“It will be of particular benefit for indigenous families who experience significant fragmentation when parents and elders have to leave their communities to seek treatment,” Dr Hames said.

Mr Dutton said patients will also have much improved access to pathology testing, with the $6.98 million redevelopment of pathology laboratories at Bunbury, Narrogin and Collie Hospitals.

Rebuilding the pathology laboratory at Bunbury will support the establishment of radiotherapy treatment for breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers, enhance intensive care services, and help ease the pressure on the hospital’s emergency department.

At Narrogin Hospital, the pathology laboratory will be relocated closer to the emergency department, and expanded to meet modern laboratory requirements.

Relocating and refurbishing the laboratory at Collie will mean improved services for patients undergoing pathology tests.

Access to pathology testing will be further improved across the state, with a $0.77 million point-of-care testing network to be set up at 70 rural and remote hospital sites.

In addition, people in the Narrogin area will have better access to dental treatment, with a new $2.8 million public dental clinic to be built at the Narrogin Regional Hospital providing four new dental chairs along with patient and staff amenities.

“These projects are a major leap forward in providing health and hospital care for the people of regional WA,” Minister Dutton said.

Media Contact: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108

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