Perth Children’s Hospital chief Dr Aresh Anwar resigns two weeks before inquest into Aishwarya Aswath’s death begins

The seven-year-old died at the Perth Children's Hospital after waiting for two hours at the hospital's emergency department.

The chief executive of WA’s Child and Adolescent Health Service (CAHS), Dr Aresh Anwar, has resigned. CAHS oversees the Perth Children’s Hospital. 

Seven-year-old Aishwarya Aswath died at the hospital, after waiting for two hours at the Hospital’s emergency department, from organ failure resulting from sepsis, on 3rd April 2021.

The WA Department of Health confirmed that Dr Anwar had resigned from his role effective from 12th August 2022. 

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WA’s Health Director General Dr David Russell-Weisz said he had accepted Dr Anwar’s resignation.

According to the ABC a report released in November 2021 revealed extensive problems with the hospital’s handling of her case.

A coronial inquest into Aishwarya’s death will begin on 24th August 2022.

In a media release issued on Thursday, Dr Russell-Weisz acknowledged Dr Anwar’s efforts in charge of CAHS. He said that Dr Anwar brought to the role considerable expertise, a strong work ethic, dedication and integrity, and he has also been a trusted member of the broader WA Health executive team.

He added that among Dr Anwar’s many achievements, he oversaw the foundational phase of the flagship Perth Children’s Hospital and steered CAHS through a complex and challenging period while also leading CAHS’s outstanding response to COVID-19.

Dr Aresh Anwar (Image Source: CAHS website)

Dr Anwar was appointed to this role in 2018.

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According to WAToday, a report into the circumstances of the little girl’s death in April last year found multiple staffing, equipment and policy failures could have contributed to her passing.

Chair of Perth Children’s Hospital board, Debbie Karasinski, had resigned from her role in May last year in the aftermath of this tragedy but Dr Anwar’s verbal offer of resignation was rejected by Dr Russell Weisz at the time.