Media releases

30 May 2006

Women and children to benefit from health service realignment

Women’s and children’s health services in Western Australia will receive a major boost under a new plan to realign King Edward Memorial Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital.

Director General of Health Dr Neale Fong today announced that the Women’s and Children’s Health Service, which encompasses both tertiary hospitals, would separate on 1 July 2006 in an effort to streamline clinical services.

"King Edward Memorial Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital were brought together back in 1994 but now the time has come for a new direction which will improve the state-wide focus on women’s and children’s health issues,” he said.

“King Edward Memorial Hospital has achieved significant service reform in recent years following the Douglas Inquiry and staff can be very proud of the high standard of obstetric care it provides.

“King Edward Memorial Hospital will be re-established as a separate institution and become administratively part of the North Metropolitan Area Health Service in preparation for its eventual relocation to the QEll site at Nedlands.

“It has been agreed that our State’s women’s hospital should be co-located with an adult facility while maintaining a close relationship with the paediatric health service, particularly in the care of neonates.

“King Edward Memorial Hospital for Women will continue to provide the focus on maternity services and women’s health in WA.”

Dr Fong said that PMH would also become a separate institution to build on its role as the tertiary paediatric centre and would continue to provide leadership on child health across the State.

“The new structure will increase efficiency, reduce duplication and provide significant benefits for women’s and children’s health care in WA,” he said.

“The move will mean hospital staff can focus their efforts on improving clinical services as outlined in the recent Gaps in Clinical Service report.”

The State Government has recently set aside $15 million for capital works at PMH to ensure clinical services are maintained at the highest level before the new children’s hospital is built.

A decision on the site for the new Princess Margaret Hospital is expected in coming months.

Mr Glyn Palmer, WCHS Area Chief Executive, will leave in July.

Dr Fong said staff could be assured that there would be no job losses as a result of the change.

He said senior clinical staff at both institutions were informed of the realignment yesterday and were supportive of the plan.

Media contact: (08) 9222 4333

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