Posted November 27, 2015 21:16:29

A new 307-bed public hospital at Midland, east of Perth, does not provide a designated smoking region for involuntary individuals becoming treated in its mental well being unit.

Even though smoking is banned on hospital grounds across Western Australia, an exemption allows facilities for involuntary patients – these in safe locations who can’t access outside regions alone – to incorporate a designated smoking facility.

However Mental Health Minister Helen Morton has confirmed to the ABC that no such area exists at St John of God Midland Public Hospital, which opened on Tuesday.

Ms Morton acknowledged the situation was not perfect.

“The mental wellness facility is on the fourth floor of that facility and they have been not in a position to designate a smoking area there,” she mentioned.

“It is my preference that, where possible, and where a designated smoking region can be place in location, that involuntary individuals have access to a smoking location.”

She stated there was also an area inside the Frankland Centre at Graylands Hospital for forensic inpatients referred from the courts and prisons, exactly where a designated area was also not capable to be offered.

For some of these individuals cigarettes are one of the only luxuries they have.

Stephen Dawson, WA Opposition

The ABC understands that involuntary patients at most other mental overall health facilities in WA can smoke as they are offered access to a designated location.

The opening of the St John of God Midland Public Hospital coincided with the closure of the run-down Swan District Hospital.

The $ 360 million hospital makes it possible for individuals from Midland and surrounding suburbs to access chemotherapy, coronary and neonatal care closer to house, with out possessing to travel to Perth.

The facility was jointly funded by the WA and Federal governments and delivered under a public-private partnership with Catholic provider, St John of God Well being Care.

The hospital is operated beneath contract by St John of God.

Repair the issue: Opposition

Opposition mental overall health spokesman Stephen Dawson referred to as on Ms Morton to resolve the lack of a designated smoking area, saying it was unfair on involuntary patients getting treated at the new hospital.

“It is extraordinary. This is a goal-constructed facility in a brand new hospital,” he mentioned.

“This is short-sighted. The Government must have foreseen this from the outset and ensured these sufferers, who are in stressful and hard environments since they are ill, have the identical rights as patients do in other hospitals.

“I contact on the Minister to work with her colleague, the Minister for Well being, Kim Hames, to get this dilemma fixed.

“For some of these patients cigarettes are 1 of the only luxuries they have, and patients at this new hospital will not even have access to that.”

The Wellness Department has been contacted for comment.

Subjects: healthcare-facilities, smoking, mental-well being, states-and-territories, midland-6056, perth-6000

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