Investing in Country Health

With Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade touring Riverland health facilities today, the State Liberals announced another key health policy ahead of the state election.

Investing in Country Health will see local communities across regional SA engaged in developing their local health services and country hospitals.

“South Australians in the regional areas of our state deserve public investment in their hospitals and health services just as much as their city cousins,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“Country South Australians have a long tradition of raising funds locally which help meet the health needs of communities, in particular, through buildings, upgrades and equipment.

“For too long the Weatherill Labor Government’s city-centric approach has undermined patient care, with many country hospitals run into the ground.

“Over the past 10 years Labor has neglected country hospitals, creating a maintenance backlog reported to be in the order of $150 million.

“In the recent State Budget handed down by Labor, they made much of a $1.1 billion health spend, but there was not one dollar for capital investment in country hospitals.”

A Marshall Liberal Government will fix the backlog in country capital works by:

  • Ensuring that all money raised in local communities is spent in local communities.
  • Acting with urgency to address high risk repairs and maintenance at country hospitals.
  • Implementing a country capital works renewal strategy to address the backlog in country capital works and plan positively for future development.
  • Developing a policy to retain part of private patient income in local hospitals for the benefit of local services.

“These commitments will see millions of dollars returned to country communities to fix Jay Weatherill and Jack Snelling’s country hospital mess,” said Mr Wade.

“The State Liberals will empower Health Advisory Councils to control their trust funds, ensuring local funds meet local needs – protecting private donations and enabling local management of bequests.”