Specialist care closer to home for Great Southern patients

  • New public neurology service set to be established at Albany Health Campus
  • Lifesaving radiation oncology services one step closer with the project reaching schematic design phase
  • Access to specialist care close to home expected to improve patient outcomes
  • Putting patients first and providing care closer to home a priority under McGowan Labor Government
  • Premier Mark McGowan and Health Minister Roger Cook have today visited Albany Health Campus to announce a new public neurology service with face-to-face clinics running from March 2020.

    The new service, as part of an 18-month trial, established by the Western Australian Country Health Service in conjunction with Fiona Stanley Hospital will mean some people with complex neurological conditions, such as motor neurone disease, and multiple sclerosis, can be seen closer to home and their support networks.

    Six clinics led by visiting Perth neurologists have been scheduled for 2020 with further capacity for appointments using telehealth, or videoconferencing technology.

    The visiting neurologists will work closely with doctors at Albany Health Campus to ensure care is well coordinated, and that care and treatment continues between visits.

    While touring the facility, the Premier and Health Minister visited the site for the new specialised bunker and received progress of the new lifesaving radiation oncology service being established at Albany Health Campus.

    The McGowan Government invested more than $13.1 million for the radiation oncology service project which has now reached schematic design phase whereby the overall layout will be finalised.

    With schematic design expected to take approximately six months, the WA Country Health Service will then commence determining finer details including fittings and equipment.

    Construction is forecast to take approximately 12 months after the planning stage is complete with the service anticipated to be operational in 2022.

    More than $500,000 has been invested for refurbishment works at Albany Health Campus as part of the McGowan Government’s hospital maintenance blitz to further support jobs and the local economy. Works include:

    • roofing replacement and repairs to the onsite population health building;
    • upgrade works to the adult mental health unit courtyard; and
    • plumbing and water service upgrades.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Delivering quality healthcare closer to home is about us putting patients first, and is a big focus for my Government.

    “That’s why initiatives like the new trial neurology service and the establishment of a lifesaving radiation oncology service at the Albany Health Campus are so vital to Great Southern patients.

    “Our investment in new health services like these and better health infrastructure through maintenance upgrades in the Great Southern region are examples of how we’re ensuring regional health care gets the attention it requires.”

    As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:

    “Here, the WA Country Health Service and South Metropolitan Health Service have joined forces to see patients in Albany have access to specialist neurology services for the first time.

    “I look forward to learning the results of the trial neurology service in due course.

    “We know that access to specialist care close to home improves patient outcomes and this is just another example of the McGowan Government’s ongoing commitment to ensuring country communities can receive the care they need when and where they require it.

    “I’d like to thank Peter Watson for identifying this gap in public neurology services back in late 2017 and his advocacy for a local service.

    “We know the Great Southern community is keen to see this service up and running and rest assured the WA Country Health Service is working hard in the background to make this happen.

    “Reaching schematic design is a significant milestone for the radiation oncology project – this process usually takes around six months and will then see the WA Country Health Service move to finer details such as equipment and fittings.”

    As stated by Albany MLA Peter Watson:

    “I’m very pleased that Albany patients will no longer have to travel to Perth for neurology appointments and equally pleased to see the progress on Albany radiotherapy so that local cancer patients will soon be able to access radiotherapy closer to home.

    “Bringing services closer to home is all about putting patients first.”

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