Labor elects to cut elective surgery

The State Liberals today highlighted national health statistics showing South Australia is the only state that has seen a fall in elective surgery in public hospitals.

“The Weatherill Government has presided over the long term decline of South Australia’s public health system with fewer elective surgeries and poorer performance in emergency departments,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“These figures highlight that more Federal funding alone will not save the South Australian health system from the damage being wrought by Labor’s Transforming Health plan.

“Transforming Health was born of the failure of successive Labor Governments to manage the health needs of South Australians.

“Health Minister Jack Snelling’s response to worsening performance of South Australia’s public health system is to shut the Repat, an elective surgery workhorse, and reduce the level of health care that will be provided at Modbury, TQEH and Noarlunga hospitals.”

After 14 years of Labor, South Australia has a poor record in delivering non-emergency surgery:

• Over the last 4 years, South Australia is the only state which has seen a fall in elective surgery caseload - a 0.6% decrease, compared with a 1.3 % national increase;

• Over the last three months, the number of people overdue on the elective surgery has more than doubled from 298 on 5 January to 607 as of yesterday.

• Of the 607 overdue patients yesterday 93 were overdue for Category 1 (urgent) surgery. [1]

“These figures come after surgeons expressed their concerns that Labor’s Transforming Health plan will further reduce access to surgery and increase the risk to patient safety,” said Mr Wade.

“The Weatherill Labor Government says that its plan is somehow justified by 500 unexplained deaths.

“The surgeons are effectively warning that Labor’s plan is more likely to increase the number of deaths, not reduce them.

Only a Liberal Government, will genuinely engage clinicians in delivering safer, more effective frontline services.”



[1] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016, Admitted patient care 2014-15: Australian hospital statistics, p. 177. 


Image below of elective surgery dashboard: