Health care on the Central Coast and surrounding areas is set to receive a tremendous boost with an investment of $22.46 million by Royalties for Regions.
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 mean the population rises sharply during the holiday season.
“The health care infrastructure and services in place 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 to gain improvement.”
Mr Love said since his election as Member for Moore 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 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 coast that reflected the unique geography of the region,” he said.
Mr Love said the funding would address the specific needs of the region, with a quick retrieval helicopter landing site and 24/7 Emergency Care at Jurien Bay Health Centre and boosted emergency care at Lancelin.
Telehealth will be expanded to enable greater use for treatment of ongoing care for conditions not just emergency cases, reducing the need for patients to travel for specialist care.
“The Silver Chain in Lancelin have done a tremendous job to now with limited resources but the range of services needs extending,” he added.
“I also know how desperately these services are needed in the nearby towns and rural estates.
“The issue has been raised with me many times by residents from Woodridge to Wedge.
“Elements of this package will be delivered in homes and will greatly increase the comfort of residents needing post hospital care and help with chronic illness.”
Mr Love said the Turquoise Coast Health Initiative was a great step forward for the region.
“For the first time the Turquoise Coast region is recognized as a separate health region by WACHS and its ongoing needs will be addressed,” he added.
“I will not stop pushing for more services in the region as I know the Gingin Coast remains an area of need for aged care and more needs to be done in this area, however the increased health services that will soon be available will greatly improve the lives of our elderly residents in the short term.”