The former WA president of the Australian Medical Association has blasted the State Government’s regional hospital preparedness in a withering assessment of the handling of the pandemic. In giving his scorecard on the management of COVID-19, Dr Andrew Miller rated the readiness of regional WA’s hospital system for an outbreak of the Delta strain a 3/10. That was one point better than Perth hospitals — to which the majority of critical Capes cases would be transferred — with metropolitan Perth already struggling under the existing health and mental health workload. Those concerns also exist in Margaret River, with Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president Ian Earl preparing to send an official call for action to the Health Minister and other authorities. State Government media officers declined to comment. Nationals MP Martin Aldridge added his voice to the debate as regional health spokesperson, saying outcomes from the latest WA Country Health Service in-house survey showed widespread dissatisfaction among workers. Mr Aldridge said no amount of political curvature could mask the negative findings from the Your Voice in Health survey, with WA Country Health Service workers, as well as contractors such as doctors employed at Margaret River Hospital, raising similar concerns to metropolitan workers. Mr Aldridge noted specific alarm at responses from contracted medical practitioners engaged by WACHS. “Positive responses from independent contractors dropped by at least 5 percentage points for virtually every one of the 47 questions asked,” he said. Dr Miller said regional hospitals had “big gaps between promise and delivery”.