Battlelines drawn in North-East

The Weatherill Labor Government’s aggressive rejection of the Liberal plan to reinstate High Dependency beds at Modbury Hospital means that the battlelines for a key cluster of north-eastern seats are now drawn.

In December, the Labor Party did a dramatic and embarrassing retreat on its Transforming Health plan to downgrade the Modbury Hospital but it still falls short of what the people of the North-East need.

The Labor Plan leaves out two key elements of the Liberal plan.

First, Labor is stubbornly refusing to re-establish the High-Dependency Unit (HDU) at Modbury, which it closed almost 2 years ago (March 2017).

Under Transforming Health, our northern hospitals lost around half the high care beds they had.

If the Weatherill Government is serious about reinstating significant acute medical and surgical services, the Modbury Hospital will need the support of an HDU.


  • would allow more complex patients to receive their care at Modbury;
  • would reduce the need for disruptive and expensive ambulance transfers, particularly amongst rehabilitation, geriatric and palliative care patients; and
  • would relieve the Emergency Physicians of the need to respond to life-threatening emergencies throughout the hospital.

Secondly, Labor is not supporting Liberal plans to allow Emergency Surgery to be able to be undertaken at Modbury.

Labor refuses to support surgical teams on-site to undertake emergency surgery for both emergency department presentations and patients within the hospital who need critical care.

“Only a Marshall Liberal Government will restore vital high dependency health services to Modbury Hospital,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

“The people of north-eastern Adelaide are now confronted with a stark choice regarding the restoration of Modbury Hospital as a genuine community hospital.

“A Marshall Liberal Government will enable the local community to more confidently use their local hospital in an emergency - a Weatherill Government won’t.

“Minister Malinauskas’s refusal to re-invest in a High Dependency Unit demonstrates that the Weatherill Labor Government has abandoned Transforming Health in name only.”

The State Liberals support the capital investment in the Hospital reflected in the Mid-Year Budget Review.