Snelling should hit ‘Reset’

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Government to hit the ‘reset’ button on its radical health plan following a damning assessment by the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

With the AMA joining SASMOA, nurses, ambulance officers and patients in delivering scathing assessments of the Weatherill Government’s radical health plan it’s time the Health Minister took his head out of the sand and halted this fundamentally flawed process.

“The verdict of the stakeholders is clear - the radical health plan will fail and needs to be redrawn,” Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade said.

“Further the community and health professionals must have access to the detailed data, information and analysis that sits behind any future plan.

“When doctors, nurses and ambulance officers – the very professionals who deliver care – are strongly concerned that your plan will damage health care, it’s time to stop and think again.

“The plan is half-baked and poorly consulted.  Much of what is salvageable will require radical recasting.

Much of what the AMA understands they don’t like, and much of it they can’t express a view on without more information. 

The Association says that “There are so many aspects of the SA health system that are not covered by the proposals, a proper response is impossible” (p13).

The Association’s submission casts serious doubt on the Government’s proposals and even questions whether they will lead to health improvements (p3).

The submission also highlights the “unreasonably short time allowed for responding to the proposals and the absence of a business case” to back them up.

The submission continues:

“The proposals pose more questions than answers…. The government has not provided all the information we requested…. [Our] members have expressed to us how difficult it is to deal with the uncertainty generated by the proposals in the absence of details.” (p3)

The Association’s submission also opposes the closure of the Repatriation General Hospital (p6), is critical of the lack of focus on health services for regional and rural South Australians (p7), and raises serious and important questions about the training and retention of health practitioners (p11).

Importantly, the AMA squarely rejects “the logic” of the Government’s plan to downgrade the QEH, Noarlunga and Modbury Hospital Emergency Departments (p7).

“It’s not enough for Minister Snelling to promise to continue consulting after key decisions have been set in stone,” Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade said.