Despite asking legitimate questions, which the Minister and Department deflected and denied last week, it is shocking to now have confirmation that a person has died after being infected with the deadly Legionnaires disease at SCGH.
A statement issued by the North Metropolitan Health Service yesterday confirmed that a postmortem of a terminally ill patient had returned a positive result for Legionella pneumophila.
It has also been confirmed that two other patients have been prescribed antibiotics, in light of the infection risk.
Questions asked by the Opposition in the Legislative Council have confirmed that 120 filters were purchased in response to concerns raised with bacterial contamination.
Fourteen rooms were temporarily closed and five beds have been reopened since the outbreak of this bacterial contamination at the hospital.
“Our heart goes out to the family involved in the tragic passing of this patient,” said Shadow Minister for Health Libby Mettam.
“It’s disappointing that the concerns regarding legionella contamination were denied and then played down by the Minister for Health when they were raised in Parliament last week.
“It is disappointing the Health Minister did not take my query seriously in this first instance, and played politics instead.
“Concerns were initially raised by patients and health workers that issues with the quality of the water at the hospital were making some people unwell and the investment in additional filters was raising legitimate alarm.
“The AMA WA also backed up these concerns regarding the bacterial contamination citing ageing infrastructure was a factor.
“To have the water supply at risk at one of our major tertiary hospitals also shows a lack of forward planning and investment in our ageing health infrastructure and highlights the McGowan Government’s inability to manage our health system.
“Given this hospital contamination outbreak has been an issue since the beginning of last month, it is extraordinary the Minister was not on top of this issue or transparent about the implications for patients when it was raised in Parliament last week.”