THE crisis-plagued state-of-the-art Perth Children’s Hospital is being stripped of some of its equipment to help prop up the ageing Princess Margaret Hospital.
The PCH project team confirmed more than 30 pieces of clinical equipment had been transferred from the new hospital, which was due to open 18 months ago.
The equipment, worth thousands of dollars, includes machines not previously used at the 108-year-old PMH, such as a mobile infant incubator and pacemakers.
A PCH spokeswoman said equipment from the empty $1.2 billion facility had also replaced old cardiology and medical imaging machines at Subiaco’s PMH.
She said the PCH equipment was under a two-year defect liability period, which started as early as April 13.
This was the same date the McGowan Government granted PCH builder John Holland practical completion of the project, despite unresolved water contamination and other construction issues.
Health Minister Roger Cook said it was “understandable in some circumstances” to borrow equipment from PCH.
“The situation at PMH remains difficult because what we have to do is to continue to nurse this ageing asset along while we bring PCH on stream,” Mr Cook said.
“It is incredibly frustrating to deal with this mess at PCH left by the previous government, so we’re trying to make the best of what we can.
“We’ve spent money on PMH to make sure we maintain a safe environment for people to work and receive care and we just need to continue to monitor that situation.”
Health Department director-general Dr David Russell-Weisz said he authorised $567,000 in funding to “address essential maintenance”.
Australian Medical Association WA president Omar Khorshid said it made sense to use idle PCH equipment “rather than it lie around and go out of warranty without it even being used”.
McGowan wants public to know truth of PCH
As the State Government continues to grapple with the lead contamination debacle, it confirmed taxpayers’ money was still being paid to a parking contractor to manage 300 unused bays at the hospital.
Former health minister John Day last year said the government was paying $500,000 for the carpark.
Yesterday, a North Metropolitan Health Service spokesman said: “Under the project agreement with the operator of the multi-deck carpark at QEII MC, payments by the State to the operator will continue until the Perth Children’s Hospital is fully commissioned. These payments arise because the delay in commissioning the hospital affects demand for carparking on the campus, it has nothing to do with the fact that patients and visitors are not using the multi-deck carpark.”