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Freo Emergency Department Must Stay

Health Minister, Hon Kim Hames, meets Adele Carles at Fremantle Emergency Department

Fremantle MLA Adele Carles called on the Government to keep the Emergency Department at Fremantle Hospital open, in her budget reply speech.

The current plan is for the Emergency Department to close when the Fiona Stanley hospital opens in 2014.

In 2004, the former Labor Government, with Jim McGinty as Health Minister and Member for Fremantle, signed the death warrant on the Fremantle ED by accepting the changes recommended in the 2004 Reid Report.

The plan is for Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital to operate as the sole tertiary hospital in the north, and the Fiona Stanley Hospital as the sole tertiary hospital in the south.

The plan is for Fremantle Hospital to be downgraded from being a tertiary hospital to one focusing on mental health, aged care, rehabilitation services and elective surgery.

The Liberal Government has continued with this plan since being in Government. Fiona Stanley has been under construction for several years now and is set to open in 2014.

Fremantle Hospital is currently a 482 bed tertiary facility with a fully operational Emergency Department attending to more than 40,000 emergency patients a year.

The new Fiona Stanley Hospital will provide 783 beds but will have a far greater catchment of the south metropolitan area to cope with.

“We cannot allow Fremantle to lose its Emergency Department,” Ms Carles said.

“Fremantle is unique. It is Western Australia’s port city and a tourist destination. Accidents happen at the port.”

“What will happen to a wharfie who is crushed by a container or someone who is involved in a boating accident in the harbour?”

“This decision will literally mean that Fremantle emergency patients could die. If you have a heart attack in Fremantle and every second counts, you cannot afford to wait while an ambulance is found at Murdoch, sent to Fremantle to pick you up and then sent back to Fiona Stanley to join the queue at the ED there ” the Independent Member for Fremantle said.

“This decision is bad for Fremantle. I call on this Government to rethink its health plans and to keep the Fremantle Emergency Department open. ” Ms Carles said.

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