“The Weatherill Labor Government’s health cuts plan, released today, is bad for the health of all South Australians,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“Clearly, Labor’s Transforming Health plan has been driven by the Weatherill Government’s budget crisis, not by health outcomes.
“The Weatherill Government has refused to listen to the wave of concern from the community and health professionals.
“It is now clear that the Transforming Health consultation was a bogus process to rubber stamp the Labor Government’s intended cuts to hospital services.
“By stubbornly clinging to its ill-conceived plan in the face of significant warnings from key health professionals, the Weatherill Government has demonstrated that the so-called Transforming Health process was never about health and is all about budgets.
“The announcement today continues the Weatherill Government’s strategy of camouflaging the details and impact of its plan with vague statements and vacuous marketing language.
“Once again, South Australians are being left in the dark about the dangerous impact of the Labor Government’s plan to reduce and centralise health services.
“Patients and their families will have to drive further and wait longer when they are at their most vulnerable and in need of emergency assistance.
“The Weatherill Government’s lame attempts to reassure South Australians will fail.
“Less than five years ago, the Labor Government promised “The Repat Hospital will never, ever be closed by a Labor Government”.
“Today the Weatherill Government confirmed its decision to close the Repat.
“Current assurances will be just as easily shredded in the future.
“Today as the Government pushes ahead with its plan to downgrade half of Adelaide’s Emergency Departments, frontline staff are struggling to cope with the number of people presenting at EDs.
“Under the Weatherill Government’s plan, the Emergency Department at the Lyell McEwin Hospital will be expected to handle thousands of additional presentations each year even though that ED – like many others in Adelaide – isn’t coping with the current level of demand.
“At 1pm today, the Lyell McEwin Hospital’s ED had been over capacity for more than 24 hours.
“Just imagine what it’s going to be like when there is a significant outbreak of flu and the Modbury ED has been downgraded.
“Four years ago, this Labor Government said it would stop ramping at the Flinders Medical Centre. Six months ago, Minister Snelling blamed overcrowding on the flu. Now Labor wants the South Australian community to believe that cutting half of our Emergency Departments will improve outcomes.
“To deliver positive change governments need to work cooperatively with health professionals on the ground, yet organisations representing the vast bulk of health professionals1 do not support Snelling’s health cuts plan and have raised serious concerns about patient safety,” Mr Wade said.
1: Including, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association, Australian Medical Association, Ambulance Employees Association, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Australasian College of Emergency Medicine