Shared decision making with clinicians vital to success of new women’s and newborns’ hospital | AMA (WA)

Media Releases

AMA (WA) | Womens and newborns hospital

Shared decision making with clinicians vital to success of new women’s and newborns’ hospital

Tuesday December 8, 2020

The AMA (WA) welcomes the announcement by the State Government of a new women’s and newborns’ hospital to replace King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) and has urged open, transparent collaboration and shared decision making with clinicians to ensure best practice and avoid cost blow-outs.

AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said women and newborn in WA had the right to enjoy the highest-quality specialised medical care and having a stand-alone, independent state-wide service was critical in realising that right.

“The new infrastructure must not be a second-rate bolt on to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital; it has to provide the highest-level care and all the services required to do that, including dedicated facilities, anaesthesia, obstetric and gynaecological intensive care, mental health and interventional radiological services,” the AMA (WA) President said. “This is a complex ecosystem, all essential for a good service, and the money committed should be sufficient now to provide that without compromise.

“SCGH deserves its own independent revamp; having been an invaluable resource for WA, it is overdue for a major upgrade.

“This is not an opportunity to upgrade an existing hospital to have a women’s section, or to build part of a women’s facility but have many areas shared with a busy general hospital next door – a model that we know from experience around the world invariably sees women and their babies lose out.

“This is an opportunity for us to build on the tremendous achievements made over the past 100 years not just at King Edward Memorial Hospital but the advanced state-wide services it provides, for example the Sexual Assault Resource Centre, to remain a world leader and advance women’s and newborns’ health.”

The AMA (WA) agrees with the Deputy Premier that we can avoid mistakes in planning between now and construction starting in 2023.

“That will be achieved by allowing leading KEMH clinicians to actually make decisions, not just be engaged in token consultation by managers, who know much less about the services and facilities that will be required for our State’s women and newborn babies,” Dr Miller said.

“And yes, it is time to update the name of the facility.” First order of business though will be to ask ‘how is KEMH going right now?’ the AMA (WA) President said.

“Frankly the current management there has presided over a year-on-year worsening in reported culture and morale (according to AMA WA doctor in training data from the 2019 and 2020 Hospital Health Check),” Dr Miller said.

“I am told the staff have also been muzzled from speaking to media, and I call on the North Metropolitan Health Service to let your doctors speak to the community – we all have a right to hear what they have to say and now, with the importance of this project, their diverse voices will be critical to the success of this massive investment of taxpayer dollars. We want a win-win for our women and babies and front line workers are the ones who know how to deliver that good news story.”


Click here to listen to the media conference audio.

Please contact AMA (WA) Media on 0407 986 308 or via email for further information on this issue.