AMA report card gives SA a fail

The AMA’s 2017 Public Hospital Report Card highlights the steep decline in the performance of South Australia’s public hospitals under the Weatherill Government.

“More South Australians are waiting too long in emergency departments and waiting longer for critical elective surgery as the Weatherill Government continues to downgrade emergency departments and close hospitals,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“Last year, South Australia was the only State that suffered a decline in the performance of public hospitals on all three key measures used by the AMA.

“The AMA report shows that just 56 percent of patients classified as urgent are seen within the recommended time of 30 minutes in South Australian emergency departments. That number was 70 percent four years ago.

“The health of South Australians presenting to emergency departments is being compromised because the longer people wait for treatment the greater the risk to patient safety.

“The median time for elective surgery has grown from 34 days to 40 days during the past four years further increasing the risk to patient safety in South Australian hospitals.

“Despite South Australia going backwards during the last four years the Weatherill Government is planning even deeper cuts to hospital services under Transforming Health.

“The percentage of elective surgery Category 2 patients admitted within the 90 day recommended timeframe also fell last year.

“Despite the decline in the performance of South Australian hospitals, Jack Snelling is planning to have even less beds and fewer nurses and doctors in South Australian hospitals under Transforming Health.

“Fewer doctor and nurses are likely to result in less elective surgery and longer waiting times in emergency departments as the Minister desperately searches for budget savings to fund the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.”