Hospitals state of emergency

The chaos engulfing Adelaide’s hospital emergency departments on a regular basis will only get worse as the Weatherill Government implements savage budget cuts to South Australia’s health system.

“The closure of the Repat and the cut in services at the QEH, Modbury and Noarlunga EDs is set to turn the Weatherill Government’s budget crisis into a rolling health crisis,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“The Weatherill Government is in the process of cutting 3.2% of SA Health’s workforce, including 867 full-time equivalent positions in the Local Health Networks that run our hospitals.

“Minister for Health Jack Snelling needs to explain how our hospitals are going to cope with fewer hospitals beds, doctors and nurses when it can’t cope with the current level of demand.

“In the two and a half weeks since the Weatherill Government launched its winter demand management strategy, more than 450 elective surgery operations have been cancelled in South Australia.

“The Repat is a critical hospital for the delivery of elective surgery in South Australia, yet the Weatherill Government will close it.

“In the 24 hours up to 7am this morning, the RAH ED was operating over capacity for 16 hours, and in that 24 hour period Flinders, Lyell McEwin, Noarlunga and Modbury EDs were also all over capacity at various times.

“Indeed at 7.42pm last night Adelaide’s metropolitan EDs were over capacity by 30%.

“For three hours last night the inability of Adelaide’s emergency departments to cope with the level of demand lead to ambulance ramping at the emergency departments of both the RAH and FMC.

“It's been four years since Labor promised to stop ambulance ramping at Flinders Medical Centre - instead the situation has got worse and ramping has spread to other hospitals.

“After 13 years of Labor, our Emergency Departments can't even cope with seasonal spikes in demand.

“Last week the QEH Emergency Department was continuously overcapacity for more than 3 days.

“Despite the enormous problems being experienced in Adelaide’s emergency department network the Weatherill Government is planning to downgrade the QEH, Modbury and Noarlunga EDs.”