The Labor Government’s $250 million capital works program for South Australia’s health system announced today masks yet another broken promise by the Weatherill Government.
At the 2014 state election the Weatherill Government promised a $117.5 million investment in the Flinders Medical Centre to deliver two new 28 single-bed room wards, a short-term inpatient holding facility for the Emergency Department and a new neonatal unit.
Today Labor has largely abandoned its election promises and will spend $159 million on largely replicating existing rehabilitation facilities that are being lost at the Repat and Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre.
“Labor’s Transforming Health plan will spend more money to deliver 200 fewer hospital beds than we have now and some 250 fewer hospital beds than if Labor had delivered on its election promise,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“In the lead up to last year’s state election the Weatherill Government calculated we needed at least 56 additional beds at FMC. Today it believes we can get by with some 250 fewer beds in the hospital system.
“Today’s announcement is primarily to replace assets which the Weatherill Government has decided to trash as they close hospitals.”
For example, the Weatherill Government wants to abandon the sub-acute rehabilitation beds at the Repat announced in a September 2010 press release “Repat Here to Stay – Better Than Ever”:
The recent COAG agreement committed $40.3 million to the Repatriation General Hospital to develop a state-of-the-art rehabilitation service with 20 new rehab beds, and an accessible building with physical therapy areas and lifts.
According to the last Budget, this project is scheduled to be completed in the June Quarter this year, at a cost of $32m.
Today the Government announced that $159 million will be spent at Flinders Medical Centre part of which is to “deliver a new 55-bed rehabilitation centre”.
On the basis of the recent spend at the Repat site, $88m of the $159m spend announced will just replicate the sub-acute beds that are being closed at the Repat