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Date posted: 2 April 2014
People living in regional Western Australia (WA) will get a major boost in health and hospital services including kidney dialysis treatment, pathology and dental care under the Australian Government funding announced today.
The Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the Commonwealth would provide a total of $56.3 million through the Health and hospitals fund to fund four new agreements with the WA Government.
'The Australian Government wants to ensure that as many West Australians as possible are able to get the quality health services they need, when they need them, not just in the cities, but across the state,' said Minister Dutton.
Under the Australian Government's Bringing renal dialysis and support services closer to home project, $45.8 million has been allocated to expand renal infrastructure and dialysis and support services. It will provide 17 additional renal dialysis chairs and 46 patient accommodation units for up to 92 patients, meaning for the first time many patients with kidney disease will be able to receive dialysis in or near their communities.
Ten small and medium sized regional and remote hospitals across WA in the Kimberley, Pilbara, Goldfields and Midwest regions will be upgraded and expanded. According to Minister Dutton, patients will also have improve access to pathology testing with $6.98 million to be spent on redevelopment of pathology laboratories at the Bunbury, Narrogin and Collie hospitals.
WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Dr Kim Hames said with increasing numbers of people with chronic kidney disease it was important to expand existing regional services and establish new services. 'This funding also recognises the importance of providing essential support services such as patient accommodation. It will reduce the need for many people to travel to Perth and will have social and economic benefits for communities. It will be of particular benefit for Indigenous families who experience significant fragmentation when parents and elders have to leave their communities to seek treatment,' Dr Hames said.
'These projects are a major leap forward in providing health and hospital care for the people of regional WA,' said Minister Dutton.
Source: Department of Health