Transforming Health: “Manifestly inadequate”

The State Liberals have backed the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) in criticising the lack of meaningful information provided by the Weatherill Government regarding its health cuts plan Transforming Health.

As the ANMF notes in a recent letter to the Health Minister Jack Snelling the level of information provided to health workers is “manifestly inadequate and will do little to ease their ongoing concerns over their future.”

“Nine months after the  Weatherill Government announced its controversial health cuts the community is still waiting for an explanation of what will happen to frontline services and when,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.

“The Weatherill Government plans to shut surgical services at Modbury but can’t say when this is going to happen beyond sometime in 2016.

“The Health Minister needs to put its plans on the table so the community can see what it means for them.

“So often in the past, when the Government outlines its plans they don’t survive public scrutiny. 

Since the announcement was made nine months ago, Labor has:

-       scrapped plans to close the Level 6 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Flinders Medical Centre;

-       abandoned its plan to move the Emergency Department out of the Noarlunga Hospital;

-       cancelled the eye hospital at Modbury, with no hint of where it might go; and,

-       broken its promise for a new, purpose-built PTSD centre.

Labor says that reform is patient-centred, but in its letter the ANMF writes that “this schedule does not provide the community with the level of information it deserves given the size and impact of the Transforming Health agenda”.

Early this year, in its submission on the Transforming Health proposals, the Australian Medical Association complained about “the unreasonably short time allowed for responding to the proposals and the lack of specific information”.

The AMA considered that “the proposals raise more questions than answers”.  Yet nine months later, most questions remain unanswered.

In spite of having the most centralised, bloated bureaucracy in the nation, the Weatherill Government is spending millions of dollars on consultants to help implement the plan.