Nats blast Geraldton Hospital shortfall

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Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
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Nationals WA Health spokesman Martin Aldridge said a shortage of beds at Geraldton Regional Hospital led to more than 420 elective surgeries being cancelled in the past three months.
Camera IconNationals WA Health spokesman Martin Aldridge said a shortage of beds at Geraldton Regional Hospital led to more than 420 elective surgeries being cancelled in the past three months. Credit: Geoff Vivian

Nationals WA health spokesman Martin Aldridge says a lack of beds and staff has led to more than 420 elective surgeries being cancelled or rescheduled at Geraldton Hospital in the past three months.

He said Geraldton Regional Hospital spent 21 days under “code yellow conditions”, or an internal hospital emergency, in the past three months.

Mr Aldridge said these statistics highlighted an acute shortage of beds at the facility.

“The McGowan Labor Government cannot ignore the systemic issues at Geraldton Regional Hospital any longer,” he said.

“These damning statistics are a cry for help from the Mid West and reveal that Geraldton Hospital is at breaking point.

“The Government must step in immediately.”

Mr Aldridge said the Nationals WA made a $115 million commitment to redevelop Geraldton Hospital prior to the 2017 State election.

Since coming to government, Labor has pledged just $73 million with construction not expected to start until after the next State election in 2021.

“The people of Geraldton will have to wait at least five years before Labor’s watered-down revamp comes to fruition — and that’s if it ever goes ahead,” Mr Aldridge said.

“It is not enough for the minister to defend these figures with a promise of a redeveloped hospital to assist in managing the demand. The situation will only get worse over time.”

Health Minister Roger Cook disputed Mr Aldridge’s statement.

“This year Geraldton Health Campus was named the most outstanding regional hospital in Australia by the Australian Patients Association,” he said.

“It’s worth noting the five occasions when a code yellow was called due to peak bed capacity were between August and mid November. Bed pressures aren’t uncommon as it is the peak season for flu and other respiratory related issues.”

Mr Cook said the previous Liberal Nationals government had two full terms in office and did nothing to plan for the future health needs of Geraldton and the Mid West.

“This is the first major redevelopment of Geraldton Hospital since the Gallop Labor government funded a rebuilding of the Geraldton Hospital in 2001,” he said.

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