Shadow health minister Libby Mettam and South West MLC James Hayward will hold a “health crisis” public meeting in Albany next week for the community to “share their experiences and concerns” about Albany Health Campus. The meeting comes after Mr Hayward revealed this week he had written to WorkSafe and Health Minister Roger Cook calling for a review into an “unsafe working environment” at AHC. Mr Hayward claimed he had received “regular messages” raising concerns from constituents, including past and present hospital staff. WorkSafe confirmed it had received an occupational safety and health inquiry regarding AHC but it had not launched an official investigation. “What I am hearing is that staff feel over-worked, unsafe and burnt out, that there are not enough beds to handle even slight demand surges, and that patients often have to wait unreasonable times to receive attention or even to get out of an ambulance,” Mr Hayward said. “I have actually written to WorkSafe and the health minister requesting a similar review to the one conducted at Bunbury Hospital, which exposed serious issues at that site and resulted in an order to improve the toxic workplace culture.” In response, WA Country Health Service Great Southern regional director Geraldine Ennis issued an impassioned defence of the hospital and said pressures were not unique to Albany. “On a good day, hospitals are extremely stressful environments, coupled with unprecedented demand, national staff shortages and a pandemic, and there can be no doubt our staff are feeling it,” she said. “We’re working hard to address these issues head-on, and would welcome the opportunity to meet with Mr Hayward to discuss this in further detail — not by way of media. “It’s important we put agendas aside and work together co-operatively and collaboratively for the betterment of the health system.” In State Parliament in June, Mental Health Minister Stephen Dawson was asked if there were any plans to expand the 131-bed capacity at the Albany Health Campus. Mr Dawson revealed a site master planning development process had begun, describing the redevelopment as a “high priority” for WACHS. Mr Hayward said the Albany community should be included in the planning. “All staff and management at AHC are undoubtedly doing the best they can with the resources available, but it is not viable to ask them to continue going above and beyond in their efforts forever,” Mr Hayward said. “I think the Albany community should be included in such planning, and that there needs to be a bit more urgency as the facility is at or close to capacity right now, and there are no other hospitals close by that can handle overflow.” Mr Hayward said WACHS, the Australian Medical Association and the Australian Nursing Federation had been invited to the meeting. Ms Mettam said it was important to invest in the health campus now to meet growing demands before “issues around staffing and capacity escalate further”. “It’s important the community share any concerns or experiences they have had at Albany Health Campus so we can raise them in Parliament and advocate to ensure that the needs of the community are met going forward,” she said. The public meeting is scheduled to be held at Retravision Stadium at 6.30pm on Thursday, November 18.