Clinical requirements must determine location of Women and Babies Hospital: AMA (WA) Position Statement | AMA (WA)

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Women and Babies Hospital Project

Clinical requirements must determine location of Women and Babies Hospital: AMA (WA) Position Statement

Friday July 28, 2023

The location of the replacement King Edward Memorial Hospital must be determined by clinical requirements, reflecting international best-practice standards for healthcare delivery, the AMA (WA) has stated.  In particular, this entails its tri-location with tertiary or quaternary Adult and Paediatric hospitals to ensure the sickest patients can receive timely, life-saving care.

The AMA (WA) has released its Position Statement on the Western Australian Government’s Women and Babies Hospital Project, in response to the Government’s shock announcement that the hospital would be located on the Fiona Stanley Hospital site, rather than at the QEII Medical Centre, as anticipated.

The statement calls for: “Immediate, ongoing, meaningful engagement with stakeholders, including consumer groups, the AMA (WA), specialist medical bodies and their sub-specialty representatives, and other healthcare professional representative bodies.”

Of the lack of consultation, the AMA (WA) states: “No consultation with clinical or consumer groups occurred before the announcement abandoning the QEII plan. This was regarded as extremely disrespectful to the many committed consumers and healthcare workers who had worked tirelessly on the project to date, and most importantly to the patients of WA, whose best interests must be at the centre of these decisions.”

Tri-location of tertiary and quaternary Adult, Paediatric and Obstetric and Neonatal hospitals at a suitable location in metropolitan Perth is a fundamental principle of the Position Statement.

Tri-location with tertiary/quaternary Adult and Paediatric services is recognised as an international best practice standard for tertiary/quaternary Obstetric and Neonatal hospitals.

Western Australia is the only state in Australia not to have tri-located Adult, Paediatric and Obstetric and Neonatal tertiary/quaternary-level services.

The AMA (WA) supports tri-location of the replacement KEMH facility, within one of WA Health’s metropolitan health services.

Addressing the issue in a letter to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Page said the AMA (WA) was “location-agnostic” but made it clear that: “Three hospitals must be located within immediate proximity to one another, on one site. We all look forward to supporting the development of a world-class Women and Babies Hospital.”

Osborne Park Hospital has been identified by the WA Government as a site that will be developed to support the delivery of specialist obstetric, gynaecological and neonatal services for Perth metro north.

The Position Statement advises that Osborne Park Hospital should be expanded “with the addition of emergency, critical care, medical and surgical services associated with a general hospital to provide safe, high quality clinical care. Perinatal mental health services should also be expanded.”

The Position Statement is available at https://bit.ly/WBHPositionStatement