The Weatherill Government’s decision to wind back doctors’ contracts deepens grave concerns about the long-term future of Modbury Hospital.
The South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) confirmed on ABC radio this morning that : surgeons won’t be having their contracts renewed, ... or if they are to have them renewed, which is a very small minority of the large number that are out there, it will only be for 12 months.
SASMOA also confirmed: This will mean that there is unlikely to be any … general surgical services … delivered out at the Modbury Hospital. (891 ABC 30/03/15)
Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade said, “When Modbury Hospital is no longer providing general surgical services its Emergency Department will most likely become unsustainable which in turn will undermine the viability of the entire Hospital.
“When the Labor Government released its Budget last year, the media was briefed that Modbury Hospital was slated for closure – we now see that the Weatherill Government’s goal has not changed; now they intend to do it by instalments.
“At present Modbury Hospital’s Emergency Department handles over 35,000 presentations a year and more than 11,000 of these people are then admitted to the hospital.
“The planned reduction to the Emergency Department, the transfer of rehabilitation services from Hampstead and the transfer of specialist eye services to Modbury will all combine to displace other medical services that are a metropolitan hospital’s life blood.”
To add insult to injury the focusing of non-emergency eye care at Modbury Hospital is completely unrealistic.
To expect, elderly vision-impaired people to get across town for a 7am day surgery admission shows how out of touch this Government has become.
In its submission on Transforming Health, the Council of the Ageing foresees a logistical nightmare:
“… should eye surgery, currently performed at a variety of sites, move solely to Modbury Hospital, patients (people aged over 65 years are the greatest users in Noarlunga) will face logistical nightmares to access the service.”