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Time for Weatherill to cut his losses in health

The fact that almost two thirds of South Australians oppose the Weatherill Government’s dangerous and divisive Transforming Health program leaves the Premier no choice but to sack his hapless Health Minister Jack Snelling.

A Galaxy poll in the Sunday Mail found 64 per cent of South Australians oppose Transforming Health whilst just 23 per cent support it.

“Jack Snelling has spent tens of millions of dollars on expensive consultants and a massive public relations campaign but has failed to convince either health professionals or the public to accept the downgrading of Adelaide’s hospitals,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“In the first two years of the project, the Government has spent:

$30 million dollars on just two of the consultants working on the project;

more than $3 million on public relations; and

$56 million on the project team.

“That is money that is desperately needed in our hospitals and health services.

“Doctors, nurses, ambos and now the public have all given Transforming Health the thumbs down and the Premier needs to scrap these dangerous cuts to health services.

“Since sneaking back into office in 2014 promising increased investment in health, the Weatherill Government has moved to close three hospitals, downgrade three emergency departments and close hundreds of hospital beds.

“Adding insult to injury Minister Snelling claims these budget cuts will deliver better hospital services for South Australians.

“Earlier this year an AMA & SASMOA survey found 61 per cent of the doctors who responded do not believe Transforming Health would provide better care for patients.

“That survey delivered a stinging rebuke to the Minister’s fatuous claim that Transforming Health is overwhelming supported by clinicians.

“Yesterday’s Galaxy poll makes a mockery of the Premier’s assertion that voters will reward him for making the tough decision in health.

“Halting Transforming Health now is vital to the restoration of health services to TQEH, Modbury and Noarlunga hospitals and save tens of millions of dollars in future consultancy fees and PR.”