An advertisement in today’s Advertiser targeting the Premier Jay Weatherill and Repat local members Martin Hamilton-Smith (Waite) and Annabel Digance (Elder) is the latest shot in the campaign to save the Repatriation General Hospital.
“Community resistance to the Weatherill Government’s cynical decision to close the Repat continues to grow. More than 39,000 people having signed the Save the Repat petition and public rallies continue to draw substantial numbers of concerned people,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“The community does not accept the Weatherill Government’s decision and will fight to get it reversed.
“South Australians do not buy the line that reducing health expenditure will produce better health outcomes for either our veterans or the general community.
“People are well aware that the real reason the Weatherill Government is closing the Repat is to save money.”
Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis highlighted the rationale for closing the Repat in the lead up to last year’s State Budget:
South Australians can expect big cuts and increased taxes in a State Budget predicted to be brutal. Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis has even refused to rule out measures as extreme as closing hospitals (Advertiser 30 May 2014)
“In the past, local members Martin Hamilton-Smith and Annabel Digance have been vocal supporters of the Repat but have both now fallen in behind the Government’s plans to close the hospital,” said Mr Wade.
“The Weatherill Government has failed to explain where the services currently being delivered at the Repat to both veterans and the general community are going to be delivered in South Australia’s shrinking hospital system.
“Last year, 25 per cent of all orthopaedic and urological elective surgery performed in Adelaide was done at the Repat.
“If all that work is to be redirect to the Flinders Medical Centre there is very real concern it will be overwhelmed by the flood of work.”