Patients at risk in Modbury - Lyell McEwin ambulance shuffle

The State Liberals are demanding that Health Minister Jack Snelling release modelling of ambulance transfers from Modbury Hospital after the planned downgrades are implemented.

“Shuffling very sick people between Modbury and the Lyell McEwin in ambulances will put patients at increased risk,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

The Health Minister Jack Snelling is grossly understating the impact of the downgrade of Modbury Hospital in terms of patients being transferred from Modbury to Lyell McEwin.

In State Parliament last week, he said that:

“the overwhelming majority of patients who currently go to the Modbury Hospital and are treated would still be seen in the Modbury Hospital and will still be treated. It would only be a very small number of presentations that would have to be transferred.” (11 February 2016)

However, the Transforming Health team have advised Modbury staff that there will need to be between 12 and 20 transfers per day from Modbury to Lyell McEwin.

“That is between 4,300 and 7,300 transfers from Modbury a year and that is not a very small number,” said Mr Wade.

“When Modbury Hospital currently admits around 17,000 patients per year, the Government’s health cuts plan will see at least 25% of these cases transferred and may well be more than 40%.

“The estimates are consistent with the fact that, on the Health Department’s own figures, a third of people who present at the Modbury Emergency Department are admitted to hospital – that is 12,000 patients.

“The transfers are so significant that a dedicated ambulance shuttle is being established between Modbury and Lyell McEwen – you don’t need a dedicated ambulance for a very small number.

“It is very worrying that at the same time as the Minister is understating the impact of his health cuts, he is attacking medical officers who are explaining the impact of dismantling Modbury Hospital.

“Recently, Labor MPs stood alongside the Minister for a media opportunity. Now it’s time for them to stand up for their constituents and stop the dismantling of the Modbury Hospital. “