Patients and staff in the Wheatbelt have celebrated the improvements to their local health services last week, at the official openings of the redeveloped Merredin Health Service and the new Mukinbudin Health Centre.
Both sites were officially opened by Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham, representing the Minister for Health on Friday, November 1.
The upgrades and construction were part of a $1.5 billion infrastructure modernisation program delivered by the WA Country Health Service (WACHS) to improve health services across regional Western Australia.
At the Merredin Health Service, the heritage facade of the former 1970s hospital was retained as part of the $23.8 million redevelopment.
It has been combined with new features such as a state-of-the-art emergency department with a separate ambulance entrance.
The new ambulatory care building within the Merredin Health Service means that all of the health services, including public health and mental health, are located under one roof.
Upgrades have also been completed within the medical imaging area, sterilising services, administration areas, the kitchen and laundry.
The new $3.7 million Mukinbudin Health Centre has increased space for visiting health professionals who can utilise three multipurpose consult rooms and a treatment room, all telehealth enabled.
The Mukinbudin Health Centre offers after-hours access to a meeting room at the front of the centre which can be used for meetings and health education sessions.
The ICT improvements at both sites mean the Mukinbudin Health Centre has become the first WACHS facility connected with wireless NBN.
Telehealth services have also been expanded.
The Merredin Health Service redevelopment project budget was $23.8 million, with $15.58 million contributed through the Royalties for Regions program.
Mukinbudin Health Centre is entirely funded by the Royalties for Regions program.
Health Minister Roger Cook said the improvements would support regional communities.
"Projects such as these are vital components in the complex network of services we deliver as we strive to ensure our country communities continue to thrive," he said.
"In delivering these state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, what we are really delivering is peace of mind for Wheatbelt families who will receive top quality care closer to home and their loved ones."
Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham, who helped open both facilities, welcomed the new services.
"I am pleased to have officially opened the redevelopment of the Merredin Health Service and the new Mukinbudin Health Centre," he said.
"At both WA Country Health Service sites, the modern facilities on offer will provide the community with contemporary services and ensure staff are well equipped to care for generations of people into the future."