Culture change needed for new Children’s Hospital to succeed

Culture change needed for new Children’s Hospital to succeed

Wednesday 8 June 2016


Today’s announcement that the new Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) will open this year should be great news for all West Australians, but instead raises more concerns regarding staffing cuts and falling morale at the hospitals, Australian Medical Association (WA) Vice President Dr Andrew Miller said.


“Clinical staff have been kept in the dark on important planning decisions that will impact badly on patient care,” Dr Miller said.


“Junior doctor numbers have been slashed significantly at PMH, despite the enormous workload for clinicians preparing the move to PCH.


“As a consequence of these unprecedented reductions in junior doctors, we have significant concerns over the training and recruitment of clinical staff,” he said.


“Medical professionals are being kept in the dark on cuts to health in WA, and while we welcome the planned opening of Perth’s New Children Hospital, we remain concerned about the future because an understaffed new hospital can be dangerous”


Dr Miller added that morale at Princess Margaret Hospital was at an all-time low, and that there is no reason to believe this will improve at PCH.


“Clinical staff at PMH have described a toxic work environment they deal with on a daily basis,” he said.


“There is a loss in confidence in the management of PMH – clinicians have spoken out against some of the bullying they have faced from management, and the complete lack of meaningful engagement or consultation.


“The proposed cuts to junior doctors will seemingly reduce the hospital workforce below safe levels, thus jeopardising patient safety.


“This should be a great day for West Australians but unless drastic changes are made to the management culture currently fostered by the Health Department, the future for child health services in WA looks bleak,” Dr Miller said.


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