Albany Health Campus demand being monitored, but no new update on master plan development process

Stuart McGuckinAlbany Advertiser
Health minister Amber-Jade Sanderson speaks at the opening of Albany's radiation oncology centre.
Camera IconHealth minister Amber-Jade Sanderson speaks at the opening of Albany's radiation oncology centre. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Albany Health Campus is being continually monitored to ensure it can meet the needs of the quickly expanding regional population according to the Health Minister, but she was unable to provide an update on the campus master plan.

Amber-Jade Sanderson made the comments during a recent visit to officially open Albany’s long-awaited radiation oncology centre.

After being questioned about when the community could expect to see details of the AHC master plan, Ms Sanderson said “we’ll continue to work with WA Country Health Service on that business case and consider it in the future.”

“It’s certainly no secret that the population of the Great Southern is expanding quickly, not just in Albany but other regional areas as well,” she said.

“The Albany Health Campus was redeveloped in 2013 and we certainly continue to monitor demand on the campus.

“We know that it’s a busy hospital, but we are certainly focused on providing increased access to services whether on the campus or around the Great Southern area to provide to communities.”

In June 2021, State Parliament was told “a site master planning development process has commenced” and was “considered a high priority for WACHS”.

When questions were raised about the progress of the plans in August, Parliament was told the “initial Concept Development Master Plan” was “being finalised”.

Shadow regional health minister Martin Aldridge said delays to the radiation oncology centre and other undelivered health commitments showed McGowan Government had a “poor track record” delivering regional health services in Albany.

Shadow Regional Health Minister Martin Aldridge
Camera IconShadow Regional Health Minister Martin Aldridge Credit: Supplied/RegionalHUB

“It comes as no surprise that a Labor Government who has consistently failed to make regional health a priority has failed to deliver the master plan for the Albany Health Campus with any urgency,” he said.

“After 18 months with nothing to show, I call on the Minister for Health to provide a timeline of when this plan will be made public and to explain why it has taken so long to produce this document.

“The future needs of the Albany Health Campus and the community it services is reliant on the completion of this master plan, and the Government is failing at the very first hurdle.”

The City of Albany’s estimated population has grown rapidly in recent years, reaching 38,763 in 2021 according to census data and likely to have surpassed 40,00 by mid-2022 according to estimates in the City’s 2021-22 annual report.

The Regional Movers Index, released at the end of February, showed the number of people moving to Albany from capital cities grew nearly tenfold in 2022

Earlier this year, Mayor Dennis Wellington told the Advertiser he expected Albany needed a population of 50,000 to attract more specialist services to the region.

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