Grass roots veterans today called on Labor’s Veterans Affairs Minister to stop the closure of the Repatriation General Hospital.
In just two weeks, more than 30 RSL sub-branches from around the State have endorsed an open letter to the Minister, Martin Hamilton-Smith, urging him to act.
As Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Member for Waite and currently the acting Minister for Health, Mr Hamilton-Smith is in a unique position to stand up for the veterans and the wider South Australian community who rely on the Repatriation General Hospital for their health care.
A broad delegation, led by the Presidents of the RSL Sub-Branches in the Minister’s electorate of Waite, delivered the Open Letters to the Minister today.
The Open Letter says:
- The Repatriation General Hospital is a sacred institution - an expression of our duty to honour the sacrifice of all who have served and died in the defence of our nation by caring for the health and welfare of the service men and women who returned.
- The Repatriation General Hospital provides a broad range of medical and surgical services to tens of thousands of community patients, with a particular focus on rehabilitation and elective surgery.
- The signatories have no confidence that the excellence of the care and the culture of the Hospital would survive the dispersal of the services and the staff.
- It makes more sense to invest in the Daw Park site rather than rebuilding the facilities at other sites.
These local leaders of the RSL add their voice to tens of thousands of South Australians who have signed petitions, protest cards and attended rallies.
The open letters were presented as the veterans protest on the steps of Parliament House is in its second week.