24-hour doctor service at Mount Barker Hospital ‘at breaking point’

Mount Barker Hospital’s recently reconfigured 24-hour doctor service is under enormous pressure, with a surge in admissions placing an extraordinary workload on a small number of local doctors.

"The Sharkie-Labor alliance hastily pulled together the new model without adequate planning and without effectively engaging local doctors," said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

"I am advised that the additional workload resulting from the introduction of the Sharkie-Labor model was instrumental in three practices withdrawing from the rosters since the model was introduced. They are now being staffed by less than half of the practices in the area which is resulting in a huge workload on a small number of doctors.

"The State Liberals are concerned that, given the pressure on the small team delivering the service, it is not sustainable.

"This is what happens when politics comes before adequate planning and sound management of local community health services.

"In stark contrast, the Liberal Party has committed to long-term, locally-engaged planning for health services in the Hills, along with establishing a regional Board with a focus on the Hills.

"In the meantime, the Government needs to act urgently to avoid doctors walking away from the service due to the workload and stress they are being placed under – that would be a dire outcome for Mount Barker and the surrounding district.

"The State Liberals are concerned that part of the Government’s plan to cope with fewer beds at the nRAH is to transfer patients to the Mount Barker Hospital, putting even more pressure on those doctors supporting the 24-hour service.

"The Government must provide additional funding to fully cover any and all activity transferred to the Mount Barker Hospital," said Mr Wade.