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AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (WA)
The State Government’s latest idea to potentially fund redevelopment at Royal Perth Hospital via medical tourism is an ill-considered ‘thought bubble’ that would not be in the best interests of patients, AMA (WA) President Dr Michael Gannon said today.
“The AMA (WA) has spoken out about medical tourism in the past. Inbound medical tourism carries the same risks as those seeking treatment in places like Thailand,” Dr Gannon said.
“Australia has some of the best surgeons and medical facilities in the world, but any surgery carries the risk of complications and after-care is often as important as the procedure itself. To match the investment that countries like Singapore have made requires years of planning.
“Continuation of care is jeopardised with medical tourism, and we need to ensure that patient safety – not schemes to redevelop Royal Perth Hospital – are prioritised.
“The Premier promised funding for the redevelopment of RPH as a key plank of his election manifesto in 2008, delivering the Liberal Party the seats of Mount Lawley and Morley, and therefore Government, by one seat. It’s quite clear that this redevelopment is now an afterthought as the Premier focuses on projects like the Burswood Stadium and art pieces at Elizabeth Quay.
The reality is that the State Government has had over six years to commit funding to RPH and they have failed to do so.
“Health has suffered major cuts in real terms already in this budget, and what we need is a guarantee that the previous funding promises made by this Government will be kept. We will not accept any plans that put patient care at risk,” Dr Gannon said.