Parliamentary Speech: Peel Health Campus

Mr. Speaker, since July last year, I have risen five times in this chamber to speak about the McGowan Government’s failure to address WA’s hospital crisis.

In the seven and a half months since I first spoke, nothing has changed.

Ambulance ramping continues to soar.

Nurses are still working double shifts to make up for staff shortages.

And still—Premier Mark McGowan is slow to listen and slow to act.

In a damning report by the AMA, the Peel Health Campus was declared seventh worst hospital on a list of hundreds across the nation.

It found that—across Western Australia—less than one quarter of patients at emergency departments were treated in the targeted 30 minutes.

The Peel Health Campus fared even worse, with only one in five emergency patients treated on time.

This is no great surprise.

Many people in Canning have shared with me their stories of Peel Health Campus, and their accounts are horrific.

Stories of frail, elderly people seeking medical assistance—and waiting hours and hours to be assessed.

Men and women left with bruising on their legs, after sitting in hard plastic chairs in ED for hours on end.

Others shared their concerns about ambulance wait times and availability – perhaps the most shocking experience is that of Vicky’s.

Vicky called an ambulance after experiencing severe pain.

Instead of an ambulance, two police officers arrived to tell her there was a shortage of ambulances, and she would need to find her own way to hospital.

Vicky desperately phoned family and friends in the early hours of the morning to ask somebody to take her to the hospital. In the meantime, two other police officers arrived to ensure the previous two had shown up.

That's right, four police officers arrived at Vicky's home, but no ambulance.

Another Canning resident—who had been diagnosed with stage four metastatic cancer—received a text from her doctor advising that her blood tests were alarming, and to head to PHC immediately for treatment.

On arrival, she was told there were eight ambulances ramped and she rushed instead to Fiona Stanley Hospital.

The evidence of Premier McGowan’s health crisis is right in front of him.

And there is a real human cost to this.

Last year the inquest into seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath’s death at Perth Children’s Hospital laid bare stories of understaffing and nurses faced with impossible workloads.

This should’ve sparked an overhaul of our hospital system.

But our arrogant Premier is so out of touch, that he refuses to take urgent action.

My great fear is that there will be another tragedy like Aishwarya’s.

Last week, our office was contacted by Sally—who was desperately searching for a GP or hospital to treat her nine-month-old grandson Carter, whose fever had spiked to over 39 degrees.

Sally and her daughter-in-law took Carter waited at Peel Health Campus for over five hours before being told that little Carter was unlikely to be seen, and they would be better off trying GP clinics.

None of the local GP clinics contacted by Sally had the capacity to assess and treat Carter.

It was only after contacting me, that Sally was able to make an appointment for Carter at a clinic nearly 25 km away.

The time for action is now. Before it’s too late.

The people of the Peel Region elected three Labor State Members to represent them in 2021—and they remain silent.

David Templeman—a long-standing and completely ineffective State Cabinet Minister—continues to ignore our health crisis.

The people of Mandurah must be wondering what’s the use of having him sit at the Cabinet table doing nothing.

And where is Robyn Clarke and Lisa Munday? Both promised to fight for our community yet refuse to acknowledge the hospital crisis staring them in the face.

And it’s not only WA Labor who have failed Canning.

Last week, the FIFO PM flew to WA to trumpet funding for urgent care clinics across the State.

But not one for Canning, where it is needed most.

The truth is, Labor has broken the trust of our community.

Promise after promise has been made to fix the Peel Health Campus—but the problems are only getting worse on Labor’s watch.

I know the horrific stories from my constituents are the tip of the iceberg.

This is unacceptable, and the Prime Minister, WA Premier and every Labor MP in my region knows it.

Labor promised to not leave anyone behind, but you only have to look to my electorate to see that they have done exactly that.