Hospital concerns allayed as Merredin operating theatre restored

HOSPITAL CONCERNS: Nationals WA leader Mia Davies and health spokesperson Martin Aldridge. Photo: Supplied.
HOSPITAL CONCERNS: Nationals WA leader Mia Davies and health spokesperson Martin Aldridge. Photo: Supplied.

Rumblings that Merredin Hospital's operating theatre could close permanently after redevelopment work at the facility have been allayed.

The Wheatbelt hospital is undergoing infrastructure upgrades, which meant residents could no longer access the operating theatre and were being sent to Perth instead.

Nationals WA leader Mia Davies said constituents had expressed their concerns that the theatre would be closed permanently as a result.

However, she said the state government had taken on her feedback and the operating theatre would be back to normal in the near future.

"I am pleased to report the government has come back to us and confirmed the Merredin operating theatre will reopen once a number of upgrades have been made," Ms Davies said.

"This is welcome news for people in Merredin and those in our towns further east who had expressed concern about having to travel long distances when they required only minor surgical procedures.

"I thank the health minister (Roger Cook) for listening to our concerns and providing us with the reassurance that Merredin's operating theatre would return to business as usual."

Acting health minister Bill Johnston said the permanent closure of the operating theatre was never on the cards.

"During the redevelopment of Merredin Hospital a temporary closure of the operating theatre was always planned," he said.

"Mia Davies recently requested an update from the health minister and was provided with information from the WA Country Health Service assuring her that the closure of the operating theatre at Merredin Hospital was only temporary.

"There was never a plan to close this operating theatre on a permanent basis."

The WA Country Health Service will receive a report later this month that will determine the scope of works required at Merredin Hospital.