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Price welcomes GST Top Up & Calls for Geraldton Hospital Upgrade

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has today welcomed the decision to increase hospital infrastructure funding for Western Australian, in direct response to the State’s continued low level of GST funding. 

Ms Price said she was pleased to see the commitment to Western Australian health from the Federal Government, pending the completion of the review into the GST system by the productivity commission. 

“I am really pleased to see this investment flow to Western Australia, especially considering some of those upgrades being funded will include medical hotel rooms for regional residents forced to go to the city for complex surgeries. 

Ms Price believes that with this added Federal Government financial support the State Government may now finally be able to deliver on its promise to upgrade the Geraldton Hospital. 

“We have some of the worst wait times in Western Australia at the Geraldton Hospital, and the State Government are dragging their feet on this issue” Ms Price said. 

“With the added investment the Federal Government have committed here today, we are surely now capable of freeing up some cash and delivering the medical services the people of the Mid West deserve” Ms Price said. 

“State Labor have a lot to answer for after their terrible performance in their first year of Government, and I believe WA Labor need to show regional WA that it cares.

“WA Labor has failed to commit the proper resources to building a new hospital in Geraldton, instead committing about a third of what the Liberals would have committed. 

“Then, they failed to even deliver this in last year’s budget. 

“It’s a disgrace” Ms Price said. 

The Federal Government has committed to topping up Western Australia’s share of the GST by investing an additional $188.9 million in the state’s hospital infrastructure in the 2018-19 Budget. 

This funding injection will expand and improve hospital facilities, help save lives and improve patient care.

Significantly, it also ensures that Western Australia’s share of the GST is effectively lifted to 0.5 for next year.

The decision to make this additional investment follows similar decisions over the past three years. The Commonwealth has provided $1.4 billion in GST top up payments to WA so far.

This year, based on discussions with the WA State Government, the additional Commonwealth investment will support three key projects:

$158 million towards the Joondalup Health Campus expansion which will include: 90 new public beds; 75 new mental health beds; a new stroke unit; 3 new cardiac catheter laboratories; a new 25 bed Coronary Care Unit, allowing for further expansion of the existing High Dependency Unit; an urgent care clinic; an ambulatory care centre; and a Medihotel facility.

This investment will ensure Joondalup Health Campus can further develop its capacity to care for more complex patients closer to home.

$10.6 million towards the Osborne Park Hospital Expansion which will include a neo-natal facility upgrade and additional rehabilitation beds.

$20.3 million towards the refurbishment of the Royal Perth Hospital, including the mental health observation unit and Medihotel.

The Government looks forward to receiving the Productivity Commission’s final report of its review into GST distribution, established to examine the impact of the current distribution method on our national economy including in Western Australia.

END
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