Health Minister challenged on 500 deaths claim

The day after Federal Labor President Mark Butler attacked State Labor’s Transforming Health the State Liberals have claimed that an analysis by one of Australia’s leading epidemiologist fundamentally challenges the key justification for the highly controversial and deeply unpopular agenda.

Health Minister Jack Snelling has repeatedly claimed that Transforming Health has been designed to deal with that the ‘fact’ that South Australian hospitals have 500 more deaths each year than other States and Territories.

In a briefing to the parliamentary committee investigating Transforming Health, Professor David Ben-Tovim found Minister Snelling’s claim that South Australian hospitals experience 500 preventable deaths each is not supported by the evidence presented to him.
“Professor David Ben-Tovim’s explosive findings leave Minister with no choice but to release the SA Health analysis he claims identifies 500 additional deaths in South Australian hospitals each year,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“If the mortality rate of South Australian hospitals is in line with hospitals nationally the fundamental justification for the Weatherill Government’s radical health cuts is ripped away.

“If the Weatherill Government cannot substantiate its assertions it will stand condemned for a chilling case of scaremongering about our public health system.

“If there is no truth to the 500 deaths claims it is no more than a cynical exercise in media spin.

“The Weatherill Government must immediately release all the data and analysis which they are using to justify their controversial budget cuts plan.”