Labor backflip on Modbury falls short

The Weatherill Government’s latest embarrassing backflip on Modbury Hospital falls short of what the people of the North-East need.

The State Liberals support the Government’s commitment today to upgrade services at Modbury Hospital, however, condemn the Government for failing to match the Liberals’ $20 million commitment to establish a High Dependency Unit (HDU) at Modbury Hospital.

“The Weatherill Government’s failed Transforming Health experiment continues to unravel as we see yet another backflip on key health policy,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“The Government now backs Liberal plans to triple the maximum length of stay from 24 hours to 72 hours at the Modbury Hospital.

“The Weatherill Government now agrees with the Liberals’ plan to enable Modbury Hospital to handle more complex surgery however has failed to reinstate the HDU that it closed last year.

“If the Weatherill Government is serious about reinstating significant acute and surgical services, the Modbury Hospital will need the support of an HDU.”

The Weatherill Government stated that:

‘…the government has decided not to establish a High Dependency Unit, instead electing to proceed with the more expensive, comprehensive option of extending surgical capacity at the hospital.’

“This is a ridiculous statement as a HDU is not an alternative to extending surgical capacity, it is the foundation for it. The Liberals are committed to both as one increases the need for the other,” said Mr Wade.

“A HDU will reduce the need for disruptive and expensive ambulance transfers, particularly amongst rehabilitation, geriatric and palliative care patients.

“Labor is also continuing to refuse to support surgical teams on-site to undertake emergency surgery for both emergency department presentations and patients within the hospital who need critical care.

“The Labor Party has given the people of the North-East a stark choice at the next election: vote for endless ambulance shuttles under Labor, or vote for a reinvigoration of Modbury Hospital under a Marshall Liberal Government.

“Labor needs to explain how the northern hospitals can safely operate with around half the number of high care beds they had before the disastrous Transforming Health experiment.

“With proper resourcing under a Marshall Liberal Government we are confident Modbury Hospital will recover from the disaster of the Weatherill Government’s failed Transforming Health experiment.”