Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA has welcomed the official opening of the new $9.2 million Pingelly Health Centre, and upgrades to the Quairading and Beverley Hospitals.
The new and improved health facilities are part of a $600 million injection into Wheatbelt health under the Royalties for Regions funded Southern Inland Health Initiative.
“I am exceptionally proud to have been part of the team that committed funding for the State’s single biggest investment in regional health care in WA history,” Ms Davies said.
“Eight years ago we had no 24/7 emergency department operating between Kalgoorlie and Midland, doctor shortages were at record highs, infrastructure was crumbling and we faced the real possibility of continued rationalisation of health services.
“The Nationals understand that lack of access to reasonable health and education services are deal-breakers when it comes to living in regional WA and we were prepared to prioritise Royalties for Regions to innovate and modernise our health services.”
Ms Davies said the upgrades at the hospitals were more than just bricks and mortar. “Our communities deserve modern hospital and health facilities, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Southern Inland Health Initiative,” she said.
“The aim is to increase access to emergency care and hospital services, while enhancing the delivery of primary health care services in the community. In short, we want people to stay healthy and happy in their own homes.”
The Nationals health spokesperson Hon Martin Aldridge MLC congratulated the Pingelly community for nominating to be one of two demonstration sites for a new health service delivery model.
“Pingelly and Cunderdin both took a leap of faith to close their original hospitals and work with the WA Country Health Service to design a new community health service,” he said.
“Today, Pingelly has a state-of-the-art emergency department, a procedure room including a computerised x-ray service, a general practitioner suite including consulting rooms and a shared procedure room.”
Mr Aldridge said utilising Royalties for Regions for major investments like the Southern Inland Health Initiative was no longer possible under the McGowan Government.
“The McGowan Labor Government has corrupted Royalties for Regions, making major cost-shifts like subsidising the Water Corporation, regional TAFE and our orange school bus system,” he said.
“These are all worthy initiatives, but Labor should not be using Royalties for Regions for normal Government spending.
“Labor are short-changing regional Western Australians, instead of working to develop our communities they are cutting funding to education and aged care.”