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Labor’s political health on the operating table

The Weatherill Government’s pre-election budget spending on health is a desperate ploy to limit the political damage caused by its toxic Transforming Health budget cuts.

“Jay Weatherill has belatedly admitted that his plans to close the Repat and cuts services at Modbury, TQEH and Noarlunga Hospitals are politically poisonous for Labor,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“Jay Weatherill’s desperate political fix won’t deal with chronic overcrowding across Adelaide’s emergency departments and hospitals caused by Labor’s cuts.”

At 9am this morning, the number of people who had been assessed as needing an inpatient bed at both the Flinders Medical Centre and Lyell McEwin exceeded each hospital’s total bed capacity:

  • The Lyell McEwin Hospital – which has a bed capacity of 377 – had 400 inpatients and another 3 waiting for a bed.
  • The Flinders Medical Centre – which has a bed capacity of 633 – had 613 inpatients and another 23 waiting for a bed.

“Given the shortage of inpatients beds, all Labor’s plan will mean is that more of the people who doctors have seen and accessed as needing to be admitted will be stuck in our EDs unable to get the care they need,” said Mr Wade

“As Labor’s Transforming Health cuts roll on and the Repat is closed, Flinders will get even more overwhelmed and overcrowded.

“At 9am this morning, there were 206 inpatients at the Repat.

“Expanding Flinders’ ED won’t matter a jot when the Repat closes and hundreds of inpatients will be needing a bed in another part of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.

“Nor will the commissioning of four new operating theatres at Flinders and Noarlunga including the two announced today, replace the five operating theatres and two procedure rooms at the Repat.

“Until the Weatherill Government fixes the perennial issue of patient flow and stops closing vital facilities, the number of sick people backed."