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No Minister, basic healthcare in the bush should not be a “luxury”

The Nationals WA have slammed the State Health Minister after he said upgrading the dilapidated Laverton Hospital was a “luxury” the McGowan Government could not afford.

The Nationals WA toured Laverton Hospital last week and committed to delivering a new facility should the Party form Government after the 2021 State Election. 

The rebuild of Laverton Hospital had been planned, costed and funded by The Nationals before Labor ripped out the money for the much-needed project in 2017.

Leader Mia Davies said the Minister’s comments showed how out of touch the McGowan Government was with regional communities.

“To label a crucial hospital upgrade – the first in Laverton for almost half a century – a ‘luxury’ is despicable and the Minister should apologise to the people of the Northern Goldfields who continue to suffer a facility which is not fit for purpose,” Ms Davies said.

“Since coming to power in March 2017, the McGowan Government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on Metronet and bankrolled countless vanity projects in the Perth area such as dog parks, marinas and car parks.

“I suggest the Health Minister takes a good hard look at some of the projects his Cabinet colleagues have funded before labelling basic healthcare and services in the bush a luxury.”

Ms Davies said Laverton Hospital needed to be at the top of the priority list for the McGowan Government’s Budget come May.

“The May Budget will be a true test of whether this Government cares about the health of regional West Australians,” she said.

“During my visit to Laverton Hospital last week I was appalled at the sheer lack of beds and privacy afforded to patients in the emergency department – and I use the words emergency department very loosely.

“The staff at Laverton Hospital are doing an amazing job in ridiculous circumstances that are no fault of their own. We back the hard-working staff 110 per cent.”

Earlier this month the McGowan Government published a document titled “Getting Things Done - The First Two Years of the McGowan Government”.

The document states “the McGowan government is focused on ensuring Western Australians have access to quality health care no matter where they live”.

“The document requires an edit – it should say ‘no matter where they live, as long as it’s in the metro area’,” Member for Mining and Pastoral Region Jacqui Boydell said.

“This Labor Government has reduced regional health investment and services to a shadow of what it was under The Nationals and Royalties for Regions.”