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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association (WA) today congratulated the Labor Party on being elected to power, calling on the new government to keep health high on their agenda in government.
“Health is facing a host of major challenges and we call on the Government to immediately focus attention on such things as a drastic shortage of public hospital beds and the desperately needed redevelopment of Royal Perth Hospital,” AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said today.
“Premier-elect Mark McGowan promised all West Australians that he would make WA a healthier place. We intend to work with the Premier-elect and help him keep that promise,” Dr Miller said.
The AMA (WA) also called on Premier-elect to ensure Health remained a high priority and appoint the most senior Cabinet Minister to the Health portfolio.
“We have worked very closely with Mr Roger Cook since he was appointed Shadow Health Minister, and should he be appointed we look forward to working with him to implement the changes flagged by the ALP during the campaign, especially in regards to medical research and medi-hotels,” Dr Miller said.
“The promise by the Labor Party to introduce a Future Health and Research Innovation Fund was the highlight of the election campaign and was the result of years of advocacy by the AMA. This is a smart plan for improving the health, wellbeing and the economy of Western Australia.
“It will also harness the abundant medical and research skills in our state.
“We recognise the legislation to establish this fund and access money from the Future Fund will need to pass both the Legislative Assembly and Council.We will now work with the new Government to make this happen.
“Once again, I congratulate Mr McGowan for having the foresight to see the future of WA health and research.
The AMA (WA) said it was disappointed that health received little attention during the campaign, however all political parties were now fully aware of the AMA (WA)’s funding priorities.
“No politician is able to claim they are not aware of the issues the AMA (WA) believes are vital to a healthier future and should be ready for us to fight for them,” Dr Miller said.
“We have always fought for issues such as system capacity, mental health, clinical workforce, the ageing health infrastructure, medical research, and rural and remote health, and we will continue to do so – strongly.
“We would like to congratulate out-going Health Minister John Day for his work in the position over the last year and special thanks to former Minister Dr Kim Hames for his hard work especially the most extensive infrastructure building over the eight years of the Barnett Government,” he said.