An unhealthy election promise to break

Health Minister Jack Snelling has confirmed to State Parliament that he is planning to break a core promise made at the 2014 state election regarding South Australia’s health system.

Labor’s 2014 election promises are contained in its “Let’s keep building South Australia” document that states “having more doctors, nurses and hospital beds per person that any other state” is one of “10 Ways South Australia Leads The Nation”. (Let’s keep building South Australia p8)

“Yesterday in Parliament the Minister bemoaned the fact South Australia has more doctors, more nurses and more acute hospital beds that the rest of Australia but worse outcomes,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“Minister Snelling is determined to cut health costs in South Australia - reducing the number of acute hospital beds and health professionals needed to service those beds is how he intends to do it.

“Last year, Labor bragged about more doctors, more nurses and more hospital beds.  Now, Minister Snelling wants South Australians to believe that he will improve health outcomes in South Australia by reducing the number of hospital beds and health professionals.

“The closure of the Repat will result in a 22 per cent reduction in the number of acute general hospital beds in the southern region.

“The fact is that Adelaide’s Emergency Departments are regularly over capacity and face chronic ramping of patients in ambulances.

“What the Minister won’t reveal is the numbers of beds, doctors and nurses he is intending to cut.

“Time and again Minister Snelling deflected direct questions concerning how many fewer hospital beds and how many fewer health professionals there would be under Transforming Health with the response:

It would very much depend upon how successful we are in implementing these reforms. It will depend upon whether we can get our acute bed numbers down. (Hansard 24 March 2015)

“This is just the latest broken promise by the Weatherill Labor Government since the state election.”