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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
Bullying tactics by the Premier will not deliver the world-class children’s hospital that everyone wants and expects to be delivered, the Australian Medical Association (WA) has said.
AMA (WA) President Andrew Miller has expressed dismay in response to misleading statements made about Perth Children’s Hospital by Premier Colin Barnett, including his claim that there are “200 medical staff” working at the hospital.
The health workers at the hospital at the moment consist of commissioning team members such as administrators, engineers, allied health staff and some nurses.
“How can 200 medical staff be using an unsafe, even poisonous, work site? The Premier is wrong, there are a handful medical staff at the hospital with others attending as required for planning. Experience shows that when there is an election in the offing, in this case less than three months away, politicians can get desperate and loose with the facts,” Dr Miller said.
“The government should not even dream of letting the builder off the hook and taking over the hospital until all the major problems are resolved. If the government took over the site early it would need to be immediately closed down as an unsafe work environment.
“Bullying by the Premier will not fix the many problems at the new hospital, with major revelations coming every week. Getting angry and frustrated will not fix the problems that have developed on his watch.
“The community should not tolerate an angry Colin, who has no building or health expertise, putting sick children at even greater risk by pushing the hospital to be opened before it is safe to do so,” he said.
Dr Miller also criticised the Premier’s statement that the serious problem of lead in the water pipes within the hospital could be fixed by filters.
“This shows how desperate the Premier has become. To suggest that the one of the world’s most expensive hospitals, indeed one of the world’s most expensive buildings, should solve the problem of dangerous water by attaching filters is unbelievable,” Dr Miller said.
“The problem of dangerous levels of lead in the drinking water must be fixed before the hospital opens either by removal of the source of the lead – not by a band-aid bargain basement measure like filters on taps.
“On this basis we can expect to see other problems fixed by equally temporary measures as underlings in fear of the Premier taking short cuts.
“Doctors are willing to wait until a totally safe hospital is ready to be opened but will not be happy to move in a moment before that.
“However, the increasingly desperate statements from the Premier worry us that the political desire to cut a ribbon before Election Day on March 11, 2017 will take precedence over the completion of a totally safe hospital and a proper return on more than a billion dollars of taxpayers money,” Dr Miller said.