Acting Health Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith has confirmed that the Weatherill Government’s Transforming Health plans are about saving money not about saving lives.
On radio this morning Mr Hamilton-Smith confirmed the real reason for the Weatherill Government’s Transforming Health proposal when he stated:
“(The Government) can’t guarantee good quality health care for everybody with 9 hospitals when we can afford to manage 6 …” (ABC 891, 8 April 2015)
Mr Hamilton-Smith went on to say in an ideal world we would have a hospital in every suburb and that “the system is unsustainable”.
“The Acting Health Minister has let the cat of the bag as to why the Weatherill Government is closing the Repat and downgrading Emergency Departments at Noarlunga, Modbury and the QEH,” said Shadow Minster for Health Stephen Wade.
Health Minister Jack Snelling has repeatedly denied that Transforming Health is about budget savings:
“Let me, make this quite clear: this has never been about savings. This is about quality of care;” (Hansard, 26 February 2015)
“We haven’t modelled savings because this process isn’t about savings. This process, from the very beginning, is about quality of care …” (Hansard, 24 February 2015)
“Thanks to the honesty of the Acting Health Minister we now have confirmation that Transforming Health is primarily about budget cuts,” said Mr Wade.
“Following his admission, the Acting Health Minister needs to immediately release the Weatherill Government’s planned budget savings for public scrutiny.
“The Weatherill Government also needs to admit that its proposed health cuts are driven by its abject failure to manage the health budget over a long period of time.
“In December taxpayers got a bill for an extra $176 million because the Government failed to plan for moving patients from the old RAH to the new RAH - that is more than 12 years of savings from closing the Repat.”