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Cutting through Labor's health spin

The State Liberals are demanding the Weatherill Government honour its commitment to reveal the full details of the cost of its health changes.

When the Government is planning savage cuts to Adelaide's public hospitals the South Australian community is entitled to all the facts, including both the budget impact and its impact on hospitals and communities.

In a message from the Minister to all SA Health staff on 18 January, Minister Snelling said "I am also committed to providing as much information as possible, including relevant underlying data, on the reasoning for the options being considered."

The Weatherill Government proposals released yesterday are broad with limited detail, few costings, no staff implications, vague service impacts, and the occasional timeframe.

The Weatherill Government's complete failure to honour the commitment to transparency is an insult to the South Australian community and to our health professionals.

When the Weatherill Government breaks its commitment to "never, ever close the Repat" they can't expect South Australians to take them on trust with their health.

Yesterday the Weatherill Government confirmed the QEH, Noarlunga and Modbury Hospitals are to be effectively stripped of their Emergency Departments and the Repatriation General Hospital, St Margaret's Hospital and Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre are to close.

Patients needing elective surgery may now be forced to travel from one end of Adelaide to the other depending on their condition and where they live as the Labor Government restricts certain surgeries to particular hospitals.

“The Weatherill Government's failure to honour its commitment to transparency demonstrates that, for the Labor Party, the Transforming Health agenda is about saving money, not saving lives,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

"These cuts to the health service from our public hospitals is driven by the State Government's budget crisis.

“Minister Snelling has failed to provide sufficient information and data so the community can properly consider the impact on them," said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

"In respect of finding savings in the bureaucracy, all the Government has committed to is looking for ways to reduce red tape.

"This is despite the fact that during the last 10 years the head office bureaucracy has grown at 4 times the rate of the nursing workforce.

"Rather than prune the well padded health bureaucracy, the Weatherill Government has chosen to slash patient services in an attempt to reign in its massive budget deficit.

"The Weatherill Government is peddling the dangerous nonsense that it can deliver better health outcomes by slashing hospital services.

"How will fewer Emergency Departments, seeing more patients who are traveling ever further to hospital, deliver better care?"