Mental health unit to cut patient travel
The Premier will today open the $9 million acute psychiatric unit, adjoining Broome hospital. The unit was due to be finished two-and-a-half years ago.
It will offer 14 beds to patients from the Pilbara and Kimberley who need urgent care and who would otherwise have to be flown to Graylands in Perth.
Frontier Services’ regional manager, Trish Thomson-Harry, says the new facility will help reduce the need for patients to travel thousands of kilometres to get treatment.
“We know the difficulties clients face when they have to leave their homeland or go that far away to Perth, to the city and what that poses for them away from family and familiar territory, [it] can be quite confronting,” she said.
She says while the 14 beds are desperately needed and a great start, they may need to be expanded to meet demand.
“I think once we see how that facility is used and the success of that, it might pose well for increasing that if that’s what is required,” she said.
“I should say it would be nice to see something similar to that in the Pilbara.”