The first priority for rookie Health Minister Peter Malinauskas must be confronting the overcrowding crisis gripping the metropolitan hospitals and delay the imminent closure of the Repat Hospital.
“At noon yesterday there were 40 patients in the Royal Adelaide Hospital emergency department waiting for a bed, 10 of whom had been waiting more than 12 hours,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.
“By 4.00 pm yesterday there were still 29 people in the Emergency Department at the RAH waiting for an inpatient bed, two of whom had been waiting for more than 24 hours.
“At the same time yesterday SA Health’s Ambulance Dashboard was showing the average clearance time for an ambulance at the RAH was a whopping 104 minutes.
“Those shocking figures indicate the emergency measures put in place last week are failing to relieve overcrowding.
“Removing another more than 100 hospital beds from the hospital network in coming weeks by closing the Repat will only exacerbate the chaos that has gripped the entire hospital network.
“Minister Malinauskas needs to work with health professionals to turn this crisis around. Jack Snelling foolishly shunned and mock public hospital doctors. All our clinicians need to be fully engaged if real progress is to be made.
“We have spent $2.3 billion on the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The Government made out that increasing the Emergency Department would solve overcrowding. The fact is that hospitals without free inpatient beds, cannot clear their ED.
“It is unacceptable that patients are being forced to wait for hours in the back of ambulances and for more than a day in the RAH’s ED to be admitted to the hospital.
“Jack Snelling repeatedly stuck his head in the sand about the chronic problems plaguing South Australia’s hospital system.
“Minister Malinauskas must adopt a more honest approach to acknowledging and addressing the extent of the problems besetting South Australia’s health system.”