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Medical professionals condemn Government deceit

In an unprecedented move the Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA) has passed a censure motion condemning the ‘deceptive, uncommunicative and disrespectful’ behaviour of SA Health regarding the transfer of rehabilitation services from Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

“This latest revolt by medical professionals over the Weatherill Government’s deeply flawed Transforming Health agenda is indicative of a process that is being driven by cost cutting as opposed to improving health outcomes,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“When the senior leadership of the SA Brain Injury Services, SA Spinal Cord Injury Services, Central Adelaide Rehabilitation Services, Geriatrics Services, Central Adelaide Palliative Care Services, Acute Medicine Services, General Medicine Services, Respiratory Services and, Haematology and Oncology Services pass a motion condemning the Government’s rehabilitation plans, the Health Minister must listen.

“The Labor Government’s claim that Transforming Health is clinician-led has been exposed as a sham. SASMOA calls on SA Health to urgently end the ‘damaging, and negative process of clinician disengagement’”.

“Health Minister Jack Snelling must put the proposed transfer of rehabilitation services from Hampstead to The QEH on hold and “commence a genuine consultation process with senior medical officers and the medical officers at these campuses”.

“The Weatherill Government’s plans will see 62 general ward beds - 20 per cent of TQEH beds - being displaced by the units coming from Hampstead but there is no plan to replace those beds.

“Where will the people of the West have to go to access the services?

“I fear that these beds won’t be replaced – that this is just another instalment in Labor’s plan to close hundreds of hospital beds,” Mr Wade said.

The relocation of the Spinal Injuries Unit from Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital will also see:

  • The loss of a physical education department and essential equipment, including the existing gymnasium;
  • Services being squeezed into buildings with about one quarter of the internal space;
  • The loss of an open campus which facilitates mobility and family time; and
  • A reduction in the number of beds in the unit from 25 to 16.

Work to make the Woodville South hospital the state centre for brain and spinal rehabilitation is expected to start in January and be completed by the end of 2016.

The State Government is also set to downgrade The Queen Elizabeth Hospital's Emergency Department.