Labor’s Health Spokesperson Bastian Seidel can’t seem to make up his mind.
In his role as Chair of the RACGP Mr Seidel agreed with our decision to centralise maternity services in the North-West, saying “While this clearly increased travel times and cost for patients in the Devonport/Latrobe area, it is necessary to improve birthing services across the North West Coast and, on the basis of evidence, does not compromise safety for expecting mothers or their babies”. Mr Seidel needs to explain what’s changed between now and then apart from political opportunism.
Mr Seidel is also on the record that the Mersey Community Hospital "exists due to political pork barrelling and parochialism. Now - we all pay for it", and that the State had "too many hospitals".
He hasn’t refuted that position, and today’s failure to commit to retain the Mersey Community Hospital and keep improving its services and facilities for the benefit of the local community, shows he still believes it.
Labor has copied the Government’s plan for a Rural Medical Workforce Centre at the Mersey Community Hospital, provided less funding to support it, and they have opposed the $55m Redevelopment.
Labor’s plan means no new kitchen, no new theatre capacity and no new ward to enable new beds to be opened.
The Liberal Government is rock solid in its commitment to retain the Mersey Community Hospital and keep improving its services and facilities for the benefit of the local community – and we have increased staffing by nearly 50 FTE, including more permanent doctors, nurses and allied health staff, since 2018.
On the other hand, when Labor was last in power, they tried to privatise it and then sold it for a dollar, and they still don’t support it.