Royal Perth Hospital a broken promise: AMA (WA)

Royal Perth Hospital a broken promise: AMA (WA)

Wednesday 25 January 2017


“Mr Barnett, what happened to the redevelopment of Royal Perth Hospital you promised WA eight years ago?” the Australian Medical Association asked today.


Standing outside RPH this morning, AMA (WA) President Dr Andrew Miller said: “For too long we have been waiting for a redevelopment plan for RPH. For too long, we have listened to promises from politicians about the future of what used to be our pre-eminent hospital.


“This is now a state embarrassment.


“RPH is no longer a tertiary facility in many aspects of medicine. It is absurd that a large inner city hospital with a very busy emergency department has no Oncology Unit and no Stroke Unit.


“There are up to two-year outpatient waiting lists to see vital specialists such as Gastroenterologists.


“There is no plan for medical sub-specialties. Wards are closed and patient care is being compromised,” Dr Miller said.


“Next Monday is the last Cabinet meeting of the current government. The redevelopment of RPH should be on the agenda and approval given to begin planning immediately.


“For the last eight years, it has been widely acknowledged that one of the major reasons for the Liberals’ narrow win at the 2008 Election was their promise to save RPH. Since then, however, nothing except the barest maintenance and a helipad has been delivered.


“In the 2015 State Budget, the government announced $19 million for RPH, which was enough for some paint, carpets in public areas and to fix the lifts.


“The expensive sign at RPH announcing the hospital’s refurbishment should read ‘Routine Equipment Replacement and Maintenance’. The State Government has dropped the ball.


“RPH is a cornerstone of healthcare delivery in WA, and it is neglected.


“RPH represents a broken promise. With no clear plan for its redevelopment, the hospital has continued to deteriorate and staff morale is sinking,” Dr Miller said.


The time for commitment and action is NOW:


  • RPH needs to be built up as a sustainable 500-bed tertiary facility in all facets of medicine, offering adequate ambulatory and outpatient care for the entire eastern region.
  • Significant refurbishment is needed particularly within ED, ICU and some ward areas.
  • The State Government needs to commit $240 million plus ongoing operational costs to secure RPH’s future.
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