MP queries Katanning hospital service

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Katanning Health Service.
Camera IconKatanning Health Service. Credit: Brian Oliver

Katanning Hospital capacity to meet community demand was questioned in Parliament last month.

Member for Roe Peter Rundle asked if Minister for Health Roger Cook was aware of the lack of GPs and doctors in Katanning hospital emergency department.

Mr Rundle said he had been approached by several members of the community who had to wait three weeks for a GP appointment and others finding no assistance at the emergency department.

“In general there is a concern for the community for the numbers of GPs and doctors available to service the emergency department at the hospital,” he said.

“I spoke with WA country health and I know that they are trying hard to fix the situation.”

In response, Mr Cook said he had not been aware of the situation but understood that WA had one of the lowest densities of general practitioners in Australia.

“The average number of GPs per 100,000 population nationally is 95 and in WA it is 77,” he said.

“That comes on top of the fact that in Cottesloe and Nedlands, we have the highest concentrations of GPs in the nation.

“It gives an indication of just how parlous the situation is in country areas.”

Mr Rundle said he was also concerned with the impact it might have on St John Ambulance because they were often transporting patients to Albany and other locations.

“I’m getting a lot of feedback from people in Katanning to say that it’s not good enough — we spend $35 million on this hospital and when they go to the emergency service they struggle to find a doctor,” he said. “We need to figure out a way to fix this situation.

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