Have a heart, Jay: Parties sign up to save QEH cardiac services

Joint Media Release with Hon Stephen Wade MLC, Hon John Darley MLC and Senator Nick Xenophon

The State Liberals have joined forces with Independent members of the South Australian and Australian Parliaments to fight the Weatherill Government’s planned downgrade of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s cardiac services.

As part of its controversial Transforming Health plan, the Weatherill Labor Government wants to close both of The QEH’s “cath labs” (cardiac catheterization facilities) and redirect anyone suspected of having a heart attack to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Senator Nick Xenophon said “This isn’t ‘transforming health’ it’s trashing health. It’s the worst and most dangerous form of false economy to cut back on these critical services when it will inevitably mean worse health outcomes.”

At the launch of a community petition today, Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade said the Labor Government’s plan means people living in the western suburbs or around Port Adelaide who have a heart attack will have to travel farther and wait longer for their treatment.

“When you’re having a heart attack, every minute counts,” Mr Wade said. “Cardiac experts are warning that for some western suburbs residents, this will delay the onset of specialist treatment by up to half an hour. That will significantly increase the amount of heart damage and cost lives.”

NXT Legislative Councilor Hon John Darley MLC said that “shuffling patients between the QEH and the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will put further strain on ambulance services which are already struggling with overcrowded hospital EDs.”
Outside the QEH today, Mr Wade and Mr Darley launched petitions for both Houses of the Parliament of South Australia calling on the Weatherill Government:

to ensure that the two cardiac catheter laboratories continue to operate at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital to ensure speedy and effective cardiac treatment in the case of emergencies and for chronic cardiac patients.

On Saturday, 27 February at 10.30am, Senator Nick Xenophon, Hon Stephen Wade and Hon John Darley will hold a public meeting to highlight the dangers of the Government’s plans to downgrade cardiac and other health services at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.