Hos­pi­tal staff lauded

Cockburn Gazette - - OPINION -

HEALTH Min­is­ter Kim Hames con­ceded there had been hic­cups at Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal in its first full year of op­er­a­tion but said that he was proud of what the hos­pi­tal had achieved.

Dr Hames spoke at the oneyear an­niver­sary on Wed­nes­day, con­ced­ing he had not ex­pected 100,000 pa­tients through the emer­gency depart­ment.

“Our staff have been mag­nif­i­cent, work­ing ex­cep­tion­ally hard to make sure that they coped with the huge surge of pa­tients we had com­ing through,” he said.

“It was about 10 per cent more than we ex­pected and a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease on the num­bers we saw at Fre­man­tle Hos­pi­tal which was see­ing around 55,000 (emer­gency depart­ment) pa­tients per year.”

Dr Hames and the Health Depart­ment re­ceived strong crit­i­cism fol­low­ing burst wa­ter pipes, poor mo­bile re­cep­tion and a scathing par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into the trans­fer of pa­tients to Fiona Hos­pi­tal, as well as the in­ept ster­il­i­sa­tion pro­ce­dures pro­vided by pri­vate con­trac­tor Serco.

But he said all ma­jor is­sues had been re­solved and he reg­u­larly re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back on the hos­pi­tal from the pub­lic.

“One thing that peo­ple don’t ap­pre­ci­ate is how many let­ters say thank you and con­grat­u­la­tions.

“And I think the rea­son I get so many let­ters is be­cause there has been a lot of ad­verse, neg­a­tive pub­lic­ity in the me­dia,” he said.

Dr Hames said he was not con­cerned the im­pend­ing loss of 297 full-time jobs would push Fiona Stan­ley to break point.

“You have to re­mem­ber for a start that bud­gets haven’t been cut – bud­gets have ac­tu­ally been in­creased,” he said

“They haven’t been in­creased enough to cater for the ex­tra spend­ing that is go­ing on. Part of that is hospi­tals re­cruit­ing be­yond the ca­pac­ity of the health sys­tem to pay, and be­yond the num­bers we need when we com­pare with any other state in Aus­tralia.

“That means some peo­ple who were re­cruited, be­yond what we needed, will now have to lose their jobs – that’s why we have a re­dun­dancy pack­age of­fer and we’re get­ting sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of ap­pli­ca­tions for those pack­ages.

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d449343

Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr Paul Mark with Health Min­is­ter Kim Hames at the an­niver­sary.

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