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Engaging communities and clinicians for better health

The State Liberals today announced a key health policy, which will deliver a more decentralised public health system, empower local communities, and improve patient safety.

If elected in March 2018, a Marshall Liberal Government will implement major reform by decentralising South Australia’s health system, through the establishment of metropolitan and regional boards of management.

“Putting real responsibility and accountability back onto these boards at the local level will provide strengthened oversight and improve patient safety,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“The State Liberals want to deliver Australia’s best hospital system – this is the first of a series of policies that we will be announcing in the lead up to the March 2018 State Election.

“Labor’s priorities in health have been all wrong. Too often local clinicians and communities are ignored when decisions about local services are made.

“During the past 10 years, Labor has more than doubled SA Health’s head office staff, which is growing four times faster than our nursing workforce.

“Despite the growth, the bureaucracy has failed to manage the health budget and major projects such as the long delayed and $600 million over budget new Royal Adelaide Hospital.”

Within its first 100 days, a Marshall Liberal Government will:

  • Move to establish governing boards for the existing three metropolitan health networks;
  • Consult on the boundaries of up to six regional health networks as the first step towardsestablishing their boards of management; and
  • Put legislation into the Parliament to underpin the new governance and accountability framework including Boards having the power to appoint a CEO and manage their own budgets.

“South Australians should be able to rely on their public health services to provide quality care when they need it,” said Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade.

“The quality of care relies on the skills of our nurses, doctors and other health professionals.

“But under Labor, the culture of SA Health has lacked a focus on quality and patient safety.

“Our health services are crying out for a transformation in leadership, governance and culture.”

To view the full policy document, visit