More than 60,000 South Australians unite to protest against health cuts

More than 60,000 South Australians have signed petitions protesting against the Weatherill Labor Government’s Transforming Health plan to cut hospitals and emergency departments.

The petitions are based on plans to cut or close the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Modbury Hospital and Noarlunga Hospital emergency departments, the Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and the Repat Hospital.

The Weatherill Labor Government’s plan has also been criticised by a number of medical experts and industry groups, including the Australian Medical Association of South Australia (AMA), South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association (SASMOA), the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), the Royal Australasian College Of Surgeons and the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine.

A number of protest rallies have also been held on the steps of Parliament House and outside the Repat Hospital, FMC and QEH.

“South Australians have sent a very strong message to the Weatherill Labor Government,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“It’s time for Premier Jay Weatherill and Health Minister Jack Snelling to start listening to the concerns raised by medical experts, industry groups and more than 60,000 South Australians.

“The lack of detail in the Weatherill Labor Government’s Transforming Health proposal and the Government’s lack of engagement remains a very serious concern which the Government has failed to address.

“The Transforming Health proposals also break a number of promises which the Government made to South Australians before the 2014 State Election.

The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Government to hit the ‘reset’ button on its health plan.

“The only way for this health reform process to get back of track is for the Government to transform its approach – if they are serious about improving health care, if they are serious about consulting with the community, the Minister must recast the proposals and develop a credible strategy to engage clinicians and communities.”