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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 952 asked in the Legislative Council on 4 September 2019 by Hon Jacqui Boydell

Minister responding: Hon R.H. Cook
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on 4 September 2019


952. Hon JACQUI BOYDELL to the parliamentary secretary representing the Minister for Health:

I refer to recent data presented in the media indicating that presentations to the emergency department at Karratha Health Campus have broken attendance records.

(1) Will the minister table the staffing levels of doctors and nurses that are required to safely run Karratha Health Campus and Port Hedland hospital?

(2) Will the minister table the overtime shifts worked by doctors and nurses at each of the campuses in the last six months?

(3) Have there been any formal complaints from staff, both permanent and locum, regarding workload in the last six months; and, if yes, how many?

(4) Does the WA Country Health Service have a fatigue management policy for medical staff; and, if yes, please table it?

(5) If no to (4), does the minister accept that not having a policy is negligent and places both medical practitioners and patients at unacceptable risk?


I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question. The following information has been provided by the Minister for Health.

(1) As at 4 September 2019, the total medical and nursing staffing levels at Karratha Health Campus are 25 medical FTE and 75 nursing FTE, and at Hedland Health Campus are 35.5 medical FTE and 113.5 nursing FTE.

(2) In respect to this part, an answer cannot be submitted in the time frame available; however, one will be provided to the member as soon as possible.

(3) Yes. Hedland Health Campus has received four formal complaints regarding workload from nursing staff. Karratha Health Campus has not received any complaints from nursing or medical staff regarding workload.

(4) Fatigue management for medical staff is as prescribed by the WA Health System Medical Practitioners AMA Industrial Agreement 2016 under clause 15, ''Hours of Duty''. The WA Country Health Service working in isolation policy provides for the orientation of relevant staff, including processes for reporting and managing fatigue.

(5) Not applicable.