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Health care on the Turquoise Coast is set to receive a tremendous boost with an investment of $22.46 million by Royalties for Regions.
The Jurien Bay district will have access to 24/7 emergency care at the Jurien Bay Health Centre and overnight care with the commissioning of two beds in the Health Centre.
The four year Turquoise Coast Health Initiative will deliver increased emergency, acute, palliative, short-stay and community based care, along with ante natal and post natal services.
The package will reinforce health delivery from all WA Country Health Services (WACHS) sites in the region, including Dongara, Leeman, Jurien Bay, Lancelin and across to Chittering and will directly support nearby communities.
Member for Moore Shane Love MLA welcomed the news and said the 20,000 people in the Central Coast district and surrounding areas had specific health needs as the area was both a retirement destination, home to many young families and an influx of tourists means the population rises sharply during the holiday season.
“The health care infrastructure and services in place in the region from Dongara in the north to the boundary with the Perth Metropolitan Area are not adequate at present and correcting that inequity is one of the reasons why I entered state politics,” Mr Love said.
“As a former President of the Dandaragan Shire, I could see the huge gaps in service and as far back as 2004, I met with personnel from the Health Department and was advised that local measures such as commissioning the two beds in the Jurien Bay Health Centre for overnight care and observation of patients could be considered.
“That never happened.”
Mr Love said since his election in 2013, he had fought hard to address the health service gaps on the Central Coast.
“I thank Regional Development Minister Terry Redman for his support of Royalties for Regions funding and the former Deputy Premier and Health Minister Dr Kim Hames who supported me and after consideration of my concerns, directed WACHS to prepare a plan for health services on the Turquoise coast that reflected the unique geography of the region,” he added.
Mr Love said the funding would address the specific needs of the region, with a quick retrieval helicopter landing site destined for Jurien Bay Health Centre in addition to the provision of 24 hour emergency response services at the Health Centre.
“The two beds in the Jurien Bay Health Centre will be commissioned for overnight stay, reducing the need for patient transfer and in Dongara the focus will be on servicing the needs of the community and seniors with the provision of more aged care beds at the Dongara Health Service,” Mr Love said.
“The Silver Chain in Lancelin and Leeman have done a tremendous job to now with limited resources but the range of services needs to be extended.
“I know how desperately these services are needed in the nearby towns and rural estates.”
Mr Love stressed that the $22.46 million package for the Turquoise Coast Health Initiative was in addition to the $6 million upgrade for the Dongara Health Centre and $2.419 million for Independent Living Units in Dongara as well as nearly $5 million for the upgrade works to the Jurien Bay Health Centre currently underway and the $2.56 million for the 24/7 respite centre at RSL Care in Jurien Bay.
“Totalling up these projects, there is well over $38 million is to be invested to reinforce health and aged care in the region” Mr Love said.