Concerns for the Repatriation General Hospital are increasing given the Health Minister’s repeated failure to deny reports of its imminent closure.
On ABC radio on Thursday, Health Minister Jack Snelling fuelled this concern by speculating about the future of services if the Daw Park hospital closes.
The State Liberals have received contact from nursing and medical staff gravely concerned that the decision to close has already been made.
The State Liberals have also been advised that staff were told to look for new jobs and that requests for holidays from March are not being processed.
The closure of the Repat flies in the face of commitments the Weatherill Labor Government made leading up to the last State Election, and restated as recently as August 2014.
“The State Liberals do not believe that any community should have to pay for Labor’s mismanagement of the health system with the closure of its hospital,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.
“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 10 years of expected savings from closing the Repat.
“In November, Minister Snelling said that the draft decisions on hospital cuts would be released in December – now he says it won’t be until February, after the Davenport by-election on 31 January.
“There is also a real concern that Flinders Medical Centre would be overwhelmed by the flood of work, if the Repat closes.
“Last year, 25 per cent of all orthopaedic and urological elective surgery performed in Adelaide was done at the Repat – Flinders did less than 3 per cent.
“If the Weatherill Labor Government is not considering closing the Repat, then why not rule it out and why speculate about that prospect?
“The Weatherill Labor Government needs to come clean with the community and the staff about its plans for the Repat.”