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Snelling blunders on with risky Modbury changes

Today Health Minister Snelling is blundering on with a significant downgrade of Modbury Hospital in the face of broad concern amongst health professionals and even though both Modbury and Lyell McEwin Hospitals are overloaded.

The State Liberals advised that from 8am today, emergency surgery has been withdrawn from Modbury Hospital.

“This change will severely limit the range of cases that the Emergency Department can deal with and the elective surgery that can be performed at Modbury,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

In the last 24 hours:

  • Lyell McEwin Emergency Department has operated at code white for 8 hours;
  • Modbury Emergency Department has operated at code red for 3 hours – Lyell McEwin was operating at code white for all of these 3 hours; and
  • Lyell McEwin ED was load levelling to other hospitals from 11.30am yesterday.

“It would be fundamentally reckless for the Health Minister to press on with Transforming Health in the face clear warnings from the AMA, SASMOA, Australian College of Emergency Medicine and the Royal College of Surgeons, all of whom oppose fundamental aspects of his plan,” said Mr Wade.

In relation to other services:

  • Lyell McEwin inpatient dashboard today shows that the hospital was operating at code red and using ten overflow beds; and
  • There are 38 patients overdue for elective surgery at Lyell McEwin and 21 at Modbury.

“To withdraw emergency surgery in these circumstances is a breach of written assurances to ACEM that the core problem of patient flow (access block) at all Adelaide’s hospitals would be addressed before any proposed changes through Transforming Health would be implemented,” said Mr Wade.

Lyell McEwin emergency physician and SASMOA President, Dr David Pope, last month said that the Government’s changes are dangerous “we know it’s not going to work and what’s incredibly frustrating for everybody is it’s going to put the public in danger. We know that this is going to cost people’s health and even lives…” (5AA, 9/3/16)

“The Minister must immediately postpone the closure of surgical services at Modbury Hospital and go back to the drawing board on his plan,” said Mr Wade.