Labor politicians BLOCK independent investigation into death of eight-year-old girl in Perth hospital


Outrage as Labor politicians BLOCK an independent investigation into eight-year-old girl’s death after waiting two hours for emergency room

  • The Labor-dominated parliament of Western Australia voted against an investigation
  • The independent probe would investigate what happened to Aishwarya Aswath
  • A seven-year-old girl died at Perth Children’s Hospital after waiting two hours in the ER

Western Australia’s Labor government has used its parliamentary majority to block calls for an independent investigation into the death of a young girl in a Perth hospital.

Seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath waited two hours in the emergency department of Perth Children’s Hospital after developing a fever and being placed in the second least urgent category over Easter weekend.

Aishwarya’s parents had begged to be evaluated by doctors after her eyes went cloudy and her hands turned cold.

She died shortly after finally being seen in front of her distraught parents, who said they begged the staff to see their little girl.

The incident is being investigated by Western Australia’s Child and Adolescent Health Service, which will release its report next Wednesday.

Aishwarya Aswath died after waiting two hours for treatment in the emergency room at Perth Children’s Hospital, her parents claim.

But Aishwarya’s parents, who went on a hunger strike outside the hospital last weekend, think the ward is unlikely to provide any real answers.

Libby Mettam, spokeswoman for the opposition, filed a parliamentary motion on Tuesday for an independent investigation into Aishwarya’s death.

“We cannot have the health department investigate their own system and expect objectivity in a case like this,” she told the Legislative Assembly.

“And we cannot allow an investigation through the lens of what is clearly a broken health department to languish a seven-year-old girl in an emergency room waiting room until it is too late to actually help her.”

Ms. Mettam said cultural issues have been raised by lawyers who felt the Indian couple may have been ‘too polite’ in approaching hospital staff.

Opposition leader Mia Davies said WA’s health system was “at the seams.”

Nurses at Perth Children's Hospital have defended themselves saying that staff shortages put patients at risk

Nurses at Perth Children’s Hospital have defended themselves saying that staff shortages put patients at risk

The circumstances surrounding Aishwarya's death will now not be examined in an independent investigation

The circumstances surrounding Aishwarya’s death will now not be examined in an independent investigation

“It is a total tragedy when we know that the family was exactly where they needed to be to seek help for their child,” she said.

Labor used its substantial majority to reject the motion by 49 votes to six.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the existing research involved a panel of 10 people, four of whom were independent of the Child and Adolescent Health Service.

Among them were the chairman, pediatrician Janine Spencer, a public emergency room nurse, an “external multicultural expert” and a private consultant for children.

“We don’t know what happened that night,” he said.

We weren’t there – we weren’t the doctors and nurses making the decisions, we weren’t the family trying to get attention for their daughter.

‘So we all have to be careful not to assess this research beforehand.’

Mr. Cook said he had personally promised to Aishwarya’s father that there would be a “thorough and robust investigation of the highest priority.”

Aishwarya’s death followed months of concerns about understaffing, treatment delays and record numbers of ambulances in Perth hospitals.

Four emergency doctors were ill that night.