Member for Tarneit Tim Pallas has described Health Minister David Davis’ rejection of
his call for an Intensive Care Unit at Werribee Mercy Hospital as “bitterly disappointing” but true to form.

In response to Mr Pallas’ call for the ICU at Werribee Mercy in Parliament on 11 October 2011, a letter, curiously dated 11 November, signed by the Minister, was received in Mr Pallas’ office on 1 February. This puts paid to the old saying that “bad news travels fast.”

“It seems the Baillieu Government have found a new way to avoid the obligations to
respond to Parliamentary questions within one month by sending them on snail mail,” Mr Pallas said.

In his letter Mr Davis says “ICUs provide support to the clinical services of a health service, such as elective or emergency surgery and acute medical care. I am advised that currently WMH does not offer the level of complexity in acute care through its surgery or other specialty programs that would require the support of an ICU”. 

“Werribee Mercy has been under considerable strain, dealing with the substantial population growth being experienced in this community. This strain has resulted in the hospital’s having one of the State’s worst ambulance by-pass and emergency department waiting times.

“The CEO of Werribee Mercy has recently explained the hospital’s poor performance as a result of not having an ICU.

“The Minister seems to believe that this community should be consigned to a less than adequate range of hospital services which in turn lead to a less than adequate timeliness of services, all of which puts the community’s welfare at risk.

“In a breathtaking level of ignorance around the growth that is occurring in Wyndham, the Minister states ‘I am aware of the growth in population in and around the Wyndham area … Similar population growth is occurring in many of the outer metro growth corridors.’”

“Wyndham recorded the nation’s highest population percentage growth at 8.8% or 12 600 extra people in 2009. It is clear to anyone who lives or work in this community that population growth is extra-ordinarily large and its effects are only exacerbated by Government planning to release 2000 more housing lots across the Princes Highway in Point Cook,” Mr Pallas said. 

“The Minister must recognise his error and invest in the health of this, the fastest
growing community in Australia.”

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