Labor announces Repat closure

The Weatherill Labor Government’s is poised to close the Repatriation General Hospital in yet another broken election promise and a grave insult to South Australia’s veterans.

“The Weatherill Government is peddling the dangerous nonsense that it can deliver better health outcomes by slashing health services,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

“The closure of the Repat Hospital will not only disadvantage South Australian veterans, it would also have serious, negative and long-term impacts for the health of the broader community, particularly people living in the southern suburbs.
“Having allowed the Repat to run down during the last decade the Weatherill Government now uses the excuse that its facilities are dilapidated as a reason to close this important health facility.

“South Australia’s veterans and the wider community should not have to pay for Labor’s mismanagement of the health system with the closure of the Repat hospital,” said Mr Wade.

The closure of the Repat flies in the face of repeated commitments made by the Labor Government during the last few years

  • Mike Rann said: “The Repat Hospital is here to stay. The Repat Hospital will never, ever be closed by a Labor Government.”1
  • John Hill said the suggestion was “ridiculous” and that “it’s not something that’s going to be done by the Government.”2
  • Before the last election, Minister Snelling said: “SA Health is dedicated to maintaining the same high level of care that Veterans and the local community have come to expect from the R.G.H., both now and into the future.”3 

“It is callous and disrespectful for Labor to close the Repatriation General Hospital on the eve of the centenary of Anzac,” said Mr Wade.

“In December, taxpayers got a bill for an extra $176 million because the Government failed to plan for moving patients from the old RAH to the new RAH – that is more than 10 years of expected savings from closing the Repat.

“There is also a real concern that Flinders Medical Centre would be overwhelmed by the flood of work, if the Repat closes. Last year, 25 per cent of all orthopaedic and urological elective surgery performed in Adelaide was done at the Repat – Flinders did less than 3 per cent.

“Over the last 10 years the head office bureaucracy has grown at 4 times the rate of the nursing workforce.”


1. The Premier’s comment aired in a Channel 7 news report on 18 September 2010. See also: Rann, M and Hill, J. 18 September 2010. “Repat here to stay – better than ever,” media release, Government of South Australia.

2. Interview with Hon John Hill MP on radio station 5AA on the morning of 19 July 2012.

3. Snelling, J. 26 July 2013. Letter to S. Marshall, State Liberal Leader.