The State Liberals will today table petitions in State Parliament urging the Weatherill Government to abandon its plans to downgrade the Noarlunga Hospital’s Emergency Department.
Over the last few months, more than 1300 people have signed paper petitions calling on the Weatherill Government to maintain the existing services at the Noarlunga Hospital and more than 2800 have signed an online petition.
“The people of southern Adelaide are deeply concerned at the Labor Government’s plans to take a scalpel to the Emergency Department at Noarlunga Hospital,” Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade said.
“The Weatherill Government’s decision to back down on its plan to turn the Noarlunga ED into a walk-in clinic have not allayed those fears.
“While Labor will no longer close the Emergency Department outright, Labor’s plan will still mean that Noarlunga Hospital’s Emergency Department will still suffer a double downgrade.
“Three metropolitan hospitals are being downgraded and will no longer receive patients facing life-threatening emergencies - but only Noarlunga Hospital will also divert patients who are likely to need to be admitted to hospital.
“Many of the petitioners express concern that the financial burden on patients having to travel to Flinders Medical Centre or the Royal Adelaide Hospital by ambulance will discourage many from accessing emergency care when they need it.
“The Weatherill Government is planning to transfer part of the cost of running a first class health service at Noarlunga from its budget onto the household budgets of the people of southern Adelaide.
“Those patients who do manage to get themselves to Flinders or the new Royal Adelaide Hospital face the prospect of longer waiting times in an over-stretched and over-crowded ED.
“It makes no sense to downgrade the Emergency Department of the hospital with the shortest ED waits in Adelaide and which serves a rapidly growing population.
“Not surprisingly the Weatherill Government has failed to release any data on patient flows, failed to release planned budget savings, and failed to conduct a genuine consultation.
“The Weatherill Government’s downgrading of the Noarlunga ED is driven by budget outcomes not health outcomes and the people of southern Adelaide are determined to avoid the Weatherill Government’s savage health cuts making their health services second class.”