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Nats call for urgent rollout of antivenom

The Nationals WA have called on the McGowan Government to accelerate an expanded rollout of antivenom stocks across regional Western Australia as the weather warms up and snakes become more active.

Health spokesperson Martin Aldridge said he was pleased the Minister for Health had confirmed regional hospitals would be receiving additional antivenom stocks in light of a spate of recent snake bites.

“Our concern, though, is the length of time this roll out will take,” Mr Aldridge said.

“With Spring almost over and Summer just weeks away regional West Australians cannot afford any delay.

“I am calling on the Minister to make it his priority to ensure all regional areas are covered as soon as possible.”

Under questioning by The Nationals in State Parliament this week the Minister confirmed that WA Country Health Service would progressively expand antivenom stock across 81 regional sites to ensure patients who prevent with snake bites are covered across more of the State.

“As we’ve witnessed recently, this is a matter of life and death for regional West Australians and the Minister must treat it as such,” Mr Aldridge said.

“It is vitally important that the extra phials of antivenom are available in regional hospitals as soon as possible.”

Mr Aldridge said the expanded antivenom rollout has been supported by the availability of specialist medical advice through the Emergency Telehealth Service (ETS), which had enabled more comprehensive assessment of suspected snakebite patients across the regions.

“The ETS, created and introduced by The Nationals WA, is yet another great legacy of The Nationals time in Government and the public benefit that is achieved when Royalties for Regions is utilised for its intended function,” Mr Aldridge said.

“Unlike the bastardised version of RfR which we’ve seen under the current McGowan Government, The Nationals used the program to deliver life-changing outcomes for regional West Australians.”

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