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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The Australian Medical Association (WA) today welcomed the reappointment of the Hon Kim Hames as Health Minister.
“The Premier’s re-appointment of Dr Hames is great news for health in our state,” AMA (WA) president Dr Richard Choong said.
“No-one in WA political history has overseen such a massive spending program in health as we have had over the last four and a half year years. We now look forward to working with him over the new Government’s term.”
“I congratulated Dr Hames on the Government’s win on the night of the state election and I indicated that the AMA would be happy to see him re-appointed to the most important role in WA public administration – that of health.”
“I have today also communicated my best wishes to him.”
“Dr Hames has overseen a substantial number of reforms and initiatives in health such as the 4-Hour Rule, a program which has been followed by all States.
Dr Choong said the AMA (WA) believed there were a number of major challenges in the health portfolio facing Dr Hames.
“The first major job that will face Dr Hames when he resumes his job as Health Minister will be the selection of a new Director General. This is a key appointment for health in WA and it is vital that the best person be found as quickly as possible. The other major challenge is to ensure that planning for the successful opening of Fiona Stanley Hospital continues.”
Dr Choong said he was looking forward to his first meeting with the newly-reappointed Minister.
However the AMA (WA) would continue to emphasise the five major points raised during the election campaign, Capacity issues; Medical Research; Rural Health; Mental Health Services; and Relief from the Efficiency Dividend, he said.
“These issues remain vital ones to the WA community – election campaign or no election campaign.”
Also key to the future of health in WA are a number of Bills that need to be passed by State Parliament, with some requiring changes from the draft legislation.
Dr Choong also welcomed the Hon Helen Morton’s reappointment as Mental Health Minister.
“Ms Morton has performed well as Mental Health Minister but there are, once again, areas of the portfolio that require her immediate attention,” Dr Choong said.
“We are looking forward to meeting her regularly to discuss a range of challenges, such as the serious shortfall in the number of psychiatrists in WA public hospitals,” he said.
For further comment or to contact Dr Choong, please call Robert Reid: 0422 553877