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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Government should accelerate the development of alternative Psychiatric services so that Graylands Hospital can be closed without any further delay, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.
“Acting Director General of Health Professor Bryant Stokes has called Graylands an ‘archaic’ institution, and we could not agree more,” Dr Gannon said.
“We have been pushing for the closure of Graylands Hospital for years now, and it is high time we improve the quality of care given to mental health patients in WA.
“Graylands Hospital has served many patients well for over a century. Unfortunately, while the nature of Psychiatric care has improved dramatically over the past 100 years, the living conditions of our mental health patients have not kept up with the times.
“Today’s patients should be treated in close proximity to their local community in association with a general hospital.
“In some cases, patients require treatment in specialised long-term facilities which do not require location in a discrete mental hospital.
“We have approached the Minister for Mental Health previously to discuss the closure of Graylands Hospital, and we hope Prof Stokes’ comments will spur the State Government into action.
“We live in the 21st century. We should not force mental health patients to live in 19th century conditions,” Dr Gannon said.
“We also welcome the news that there will be a reduction in the number of overseas doctors in our public system, thanks to the large number of graduates from our State’s two medical schools.
“This further cements our position that WA does not need a third medical school at this point in time.
“However, our current training program aimed at retaining locally trained Psychiatrists needs a revamp.
“It is currently conducted in a dysfunctional public mental health system, and unfortunately many locally trained Psychiatrists leave the public system at the first opportunity they get.
“More needs to be done to ensure that our best and brightest psychiatric students stay looking after patients in WA,” Dr Gannon said.