BACK­ING FOR PLAN

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

All the Pil­bara’s State elec­tion can­di­dates have thrown their sup­port be­hind a pro­posed med­i­cal imag­ing cen­tre in Kar­ratha, for which the pro­po­nents are seek­ing Gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

360 Health Cen­tre’s Dr Mar­tin Ku­mar has pro­posed a cen­tre next to Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus which would house MRI, ul­tra­sound, CT and other imag­ing equip­ment.

A busi­ness plan and de­tailed de­signs have been read­ied for the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion and the project’s back­ers are now call­ing for parties to make a firm com­mit­ment to fund­ing it ahead of the State elec­tion.

Lib­eral can­di­date Mark Alchin said while it was not a Lib­eral Party pol­icy, he would com­mit to fight­ing for the fund­ing re­quired.

Mr Alchin said he be­lieved he would have a good chance of get­ting a com­mit­ment from the party should he be elected.

Pil­bara MLA Bren­don Grylls said he be­lieved the pro­posal had “more than a good chance” of suc­ceed­ing.

“There are more and more anec­dotes from peo­ple across the Pil­bara who maybe don’t have emer­gency needs for scans, which you can get done at the hospi­tals, but the more elec­tive stuff, who are trav­el­ling to Perth to get that done,” he said.

“To Dr Ku­mar and 360’s credit, they have come for­ward with a busi­ness case to put for­ward to the Pil­bara De­vel­op­ment Com­mis­sion to try and seek fund­ing to help un­der­pin that project.

“If we can pro­vide pri­vate imag­ing and that re­duces the need to fly peo­ple on Gov­ern­ment fund­ing via the Pa­tient-As­sisted Travel Scheme to Perth, there may well be a win­win.”

Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers can­di­date Fiona White-Har­tig said she sup­ported the pro­posal, but said such fa­cil­i­ties should have been in­cor­po­rated into the Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus. La­bor can­di­date Kevin Michel said the fa­cil­ity would be ben­e­fi­cial given a claimed lack of med­i­cal-imag­ing equip­ment at Kar­ratha Health Cam­pus.

The Depart­ment of Health and WA Coun­try Health Ser­vice have pre­vi­ously de­nied ru­mours the hospi­tal would miss out on new med­i­cal­imag­ing equip­ment.

360 Health Cen­tre’s Dr Mar­tin Ku­mar. Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

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