The McGowan Government has today unveiled a new plan to provide increased ventilated beds and ventilator capacity to the people of Western Australia during the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the health system.
The plan will bring more than 600 ventilated beds online over three steps – a significant boost from the previous capacity of 111 ventilated beds in our public hospitals.
A total of 10 additional ventilated beds have already been brought online since March, and these numbers can continue to rise steadily to further strengthen the State’s ability to respond to this pandemic.
The WA health system has a wide range of ventilators of different functions, some are long term, some are short term, some are for travel and some are more appropriate for COVID patients. Not all ventilators are attached to beds.
This strategic and methodical approach will see the entire WA health system work collaboratively to further prepare our hospitals for those that require critical care.
Ventilated beds will be readied in line with patient demand and surge capacity plans at all public hospitals to ensure the system is preparing everything possible to cater for a potential rise in COVID-19 patients.
This will be followed by a co-operative approach with private providers to maximise access for patients who require this critical care.
This strategy also incorporates the purchase and delivery of an additional 301 ventilators – the first of which are due to arrive in April and form part of more than $15 million of fast-tracked spending on vital equipment.
Highly skilled clinical staff remain paramount in our fight against COVID-19 and work is currently being undertaken to train and deploy a multidisciplinary workforce to support each ventilated bed.
As stated by Health Minister Roger Cook:
“This new plan represents a diligent approach to capacity management and will ensure that our hospitals are ready when we need them.
“With more than 600 ventilated beds available to open in coming months, Western Australia is in a very strong position to care for those who need it during this pandemic.
“With new equipment and this three-stepped process, we will see a dramatic increase in the ability of our health system to cater for the current pressures of COVID-19.”