Jack’s Sick Joke

Jack Snelling’s announcement that the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will open in early September is just not credible. 

“Jack Snelling has never met a predicted opening date and this is the one he is least likely to meet,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

“The Weatherill Government is delusional if it believes our hospitals could cope with almost four hundred fewer beds at the height of the flu season – that’s 13% of all our metropolitan beds.

“Our hospitals are not coping now – how could they cope during peak flu season with four hundred less beds?”

Minister Snelling needs to reflect on some sobering facts:

  • This morning, there are 717 patients in the Royal Adelaide, 33 more than its capacity with another 14 waiting for a bed.
  • Last year, was a mild winter, average bed occupancy[1] at the Royal Adelaide was 693 (9 overcapacity) in the period of the transition to the new hospital – mid-July to the end of September.
  • This year, flu notifications are running twice as high as the same time last year.

This plan is not feasible.

This date will be moved.

The Weatherill Government is demonstrating yet again that it puts politics before patient safety.

Comments from September 2015

Associate Professor Dabars warned that transferring during winter would “place intolerable burdens on the remaining hospital services, undue pressure on clinical staff and place patients and their welfare at risk”.[2]

Health Minister Mr Snelling said it would be “foolhardy and dangerous” to open the hospital in winter. “The advice from doctors, nurses and allied health professionals is it would not be safe to move to the new hospital during the busy winter period.” [3]

SA Health Web Site Today

“In Australia, seasonal influenza of varying severity occurs every year, usually between May and September.”[4]


[1] Including those waiting for a bed.

[2]“New Royal Adelaide Hospital hit with costly delay to avoid winter peak flu season” – Paul Starick, Chief Reporter, The Advertiser, 16 September 2015

[3]”New Royal Adelaide Hospital to sit empty for four months after being finished” - Brad Crouch, The Advertiser, 17 September 2017