The State Liberals are demanding that Health Minister Jack Snelling reveal how many hospital beds will be closed and how many jobs will be lost in Adelaide’s northern and central hospital network.
“Jack Snelling has repeatedly stated that he intends to reduce the number of hospital beds in South Australia to around the national average,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
Last year, Minister Snelling told Parliament that South Australia had:
“significantly more hospital beds for our population size—acute hospital beds—than other states and, in fact, any other Australian state or, indeed, territory. I make no secret of the fact that I would like to see that brought down to closer to what the national average is.” (Hansard 30 June 2015, p1832)
“If that is still the case then at least 500 hospital beds and thousands of jobs for health professionals in the hospital system are at risk,” Mr Wade said
“Given we now know 117 beds are to be closed and 240 health jobs are going to be lost in the Southern Adelaide Hospital network the Minister needs to come clean regarding the impact of his budget cuts on Adelaide’s other hospitals.”
Health CEO Vickie Kaminski promised to reveal the number of beds that would be cut from Adelaide’s hospital system more than four months ago:
Bevan: We don’t want to be unfair … when should we ask you to give us a ballpark figure, should we ring you … later on today or next week or in a month, what would be a good time to call you and say, ‘how many fewer beds do you think we need’?
Kaminski: two weeks would be good. (ABC 891 19 April 2016)
“Transforming Health will disfigure Adelaide’s hospital network as the Weatherill Government desperately searches for budget savings to counter years of massive budget blow-outs,” said Mr Wade.
“Transforming Health has always been primarily about saving money, not improving health.
“Minister Snelling needs to explain how he is going to redeploy those health professionals who don’t want to retire given all the system-wide contraction."