Parliamentary Speech: The Truth About PHC


It's deja vu because here I am again exposing Labor's shocking mismanagement of the Peel Health Campus in Western Australia. My constituents are frustrated and running out of patience. Our local Labor members have been silent on this issue for two years, until this week. Yesterday, in an out-of-touch op-ed in our local paper, the Mandurah Coastal Times, the state member for Dawesville, Lisa Munday, claimed that 'no patient is ever ramped in the back of an ambulance'. This is false.

When the member for Dawesville was elected in March 2021, patients were ramped at Peel Health Campus for a total of 172 hours that month. By December last year, that number had grown to 647 hours. But, according to the member, these figures are not true because—she claims—there were no patients in those ambulances. I would love to know what definition WA Labor uses for ambulance ramping, because here is the Australian Medical Association's definition:

When an emergency department is at capacity, patients are unable to be transferred from the ambulance to the emergency department in timely manner, commonly referred to as ambulance ramping.

Labor's claim that, yes, there is ramping but, no, it doesn't involve patients is tricky politics; it is not being upfront. The member for Dawesville is not listening to our community, who are desperate for Labor to fix the Peel Health Campus. Almost 90 per cent of people who responded to my community survey said the Peel Health Campus is their top concern. Thousands of people have signed my petition urging Labor to fix our hospital and have shared their stories with me.

Not long ago, I heard from a grandmother, Lyn, from Dawesville, who sat in the back of an ambulance for eight hours with no food or water. This is despite our local member's claim that 'never ever are they ramped in the back of an ambulance'. She went on to say that patients 'may even be given a sandwich and a cuppa while they wait'. Is the state member for Dawesville really saying this never happened? Is Lyn really making this up? Because this did happen, and this story is not the only one. We have many stories just like it.

But there is one point on which the member for Dawesville and I agree. She states that our brilliant nurses and doctors at the Peel Health Campus 'work hard to care for any patient that comes through the door'. I absolutely know that's true from personal experience with my infant daughter and also my father, who were treated at the Peel Health Campus. But I also know that our frontline health workers need support from the Labor state government. They are crying out for Premier Mark McGowan to do what he promised, but our three state Labor MPs have been silent. Then this week we see the member for Dawesville attempt to defend the indefensible. She should be advocating for her community; instead, she's telling them they've got it all wrong. The weight of evidence is against her and WA Labor. We want action and we wanted it yesterday. People's lives depend on it.