AMA (WA) 2021 State Election Priorities: Doctors call for immediate opening of 100 beds | AMA (WA)

Media Releases

AMA (WA) | State Election Priorities

AMA (WA) 2021 State Election Priorities: Doctors call for immediate opening of 100 beds

Sunday January 24, 2021

Averting the growing crisis in WA’s public hospitals is a key recommendation of the AMA (WA) 2021 State Election Priorities, being launched today by AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller.

Doctors are urging the immediate opening of 100 public hospital beds, in addition to the 77-bed new mental health building at Joondalup Health Campus’ ED, to ease the enormous pressure on access to WA’s health system.

Dr Miller said the unavoidable focus on access to care, as reflected in ambulance ramping, where the State’s hospital system continually breaks its own records on the key indicator, showed something was terribly wrong and needs immediate attention.

“One hundred new beds is just an emergency measure to start with, but front line staff say this is essential to avoid catastrophe,” he said.

“We need to grow the system by at least 600 beds to meet efficient capacity limits.

“These targets are required as part of a long-term plan to build WA health system capacity. Medi-hotels and urgent care clinics, are important back-up systems, but they will never be the key remedy to overflowing hospitals.”

The AMA (WA) President said the 2021 WA State Election must have a substantial focus on WA’s health system.

“WA’s health system is our most important public asset, and its strength and effective function is entirely dependent on its workforce,” Dr Miller said.

AMA (WA) has seven pillars that make up its 2021 State Election priorities:

1. A Fair Go for Patients – access to a permanent workforce of Doctors when they need them.
2. Public Hospitals & Health Services
3. Mental Health
4. Rural Health
5. General Practice
6. Women’s Health
7. Public Health

Dr Miller said acting on doctors’ advice on COVID-19 has kept WA safe from the health and economic impact of

“We were told border closures were not possible when we advised them to do it last March – now it is the
Government’s greatest success in COVID prevention. We can likewise build and protect the WA health system
by listening to doctors; politicians should respond to us now to build a more efficient, safer health system that
meets the expectations and needs of Western Australians,” he said.

“Political parties must commit to building system capacity, supporting doctors and healthcare workers, and fixing
longstanding problems and deficiencies which are contributing to poorer health outcomes, bigger health system
costs and increased suffering.”

Access the AMA (WA) 2021 State Election Priorities document.