Shiny new equipment for Fiona Stanley, but no plans for staff

Wednesday 06 Feb 2013

The Health Minister Kim Hames today announced $32 million of advanced medical equipment for the new Fiona Stanley Hospital, but made no mention of how the State Government plans to attract the specialist staff to operate it.

HSUWA, the union representing specialist health professionals, has repeatedly asked the State Government to release its workforce plan for the hospital and other metropolitan health services, but it is yet to see the light of day.

Union Secretary Dan Hill said without the adequate staff to operate it, the shiny new equipment will sit gathering dust while patients miss out on getting the state of the art treatment they're entitled to.

HSUWA estimates Fiona Stanley will require about 70 medical imaging technologists, but the exact numbers and skills mix hasn't yet been identified.

"In announcing the official start of the election campaign today, the Premier Colin Barnett trumpeted Fiona Stanley as one of the government's key achievements," Mr Hill said.

"While there's no doubt the new facility will be a fantastic asset to the West Australian public, it's essential the government now maps out its plan on how to staff it."

Mr Hill also said the State Government has not invested in sufficient Post Graduate training to ensure the hospital will have the necessary specialist health professionals when it opens next year.

"For example, Sonographers are already in short supply, so it's difficult to see where the extra staff needed for Fiona Stanley are going to come from," he said.

The HSUWA represents more than 15,000 people employed in WA public hospitals and health services including technicians, physiotherapists, pharmacists, medical imaging technologists, psychologists, social workers, medical scientists, occupational therapists, dieticians, maintenance officers, podiatrists, mental health workers, speech pathologists and administrative staff. All play a vital role in our health system.

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