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Roger Cook accused of recycling promise to grieving families

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Roger Cook accused of recycling promise to grieving families

6PR Mornings host Liam Bartlett has accused the Health Minister of recycling a promise to the grieving parents of Aishwarya Aswath.

Roger Cook has vowed to implement a program called Aishwarya’s Care, after the seven-year-old died following an almost two hour wait at Perth Children’s Hospital.

The program centres around a better triage system in WA’s paediatric hospitals, allowing parents to escalate their concern in emergency departments.

“I want to say something about politicians pretending to be concerned and doing all that they can, and making overtures to parents who have lost children in the name of touching tributes,” Bartlett said.

“When in reality it is all about saving their political hide and protecting their own highly paid position.

“He sold the same idea to another set of parents five years ago.

“When Roger Cook was Shadow Health Minister he told the mother of a baby who had died in similar circumstances that her baby should be honoured with such a rule.

“Seven-month-old baby Malakai’s parents took him to an emergency department twice and were unable to raise their concerns about his deteriorating condition, until finally on the third visit he died.

“He has known for at least five years that there is a potential problem.

“He has done nothing until his job again is in the firing line, and now all of a sudden it is important enough to be brought into our hospitals and be dedicated to a family that the system, from the Minister down has failed.”

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Meanwhile, emergency department nurse John, who has worked in WA hospitals for 30 years, is calling for a royal commission to be held into WA’s hospital system.

“What I have seen over my decades in the health system is successive government on both sides of politics chronically under resourcing and under funding health.”

He believes if emergency departments were adequately staffed the Aishwarya’s Care rule would not be needed.

“If you have a health system that is not under pressure, and health care professionals who can take the time to listen to the patient, the family, and the relatives, then we won’t need this rule because everyone will be getting the care we all desire,” he said.

“Unless there is something fixed, I think it’s a matter of time before it happens again.”

Liam Bartlett