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Labor elects to cut surgery


The Weatherill Government’s decision to cancel elective surgery across Adelaide over the next 48 hours is an early warning sign of the chaos its health cuts will produce in South Australia’s public hospital system.

“Health Minister Jack Snelling’s decision to cut elective surgery during the next 48 hours is just a glimpse of how Adelaide’s public hospitals will struggle once the Repat is closed and Emergency Departments at Noarlunga, Modbury and the QEH are downgraded.

“Adelaide’s public hospital system is bursting at the seams yet the Weatherill Government is planning to cut 3.2% of SA Health’s workforce this year, including 867 full-time equivalent positions in the Local Health Networks that run our hospitals.

“The deep cuts in the hospital workforce will be accompanied by the closure of 840 hospital beds across the network. 

“Health services won’t be so much transformed as cut to the bone as the Weatherill Government inflicts hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts on our struggling, frontline hospitals.

“Last year the Repat performed more than 4000 elective surgeries which included 25 per cent of all orthopaedic and urological elective surgery performed in Adelaide. Indeed more than 80 per cent of the surgery done at the Repat is elective surgery.

“Under Labor’s plan, people should expect to drive further to access an Emergency Department, wait longer for treatment when they get there and have even less chance of being admitted to a hospital bed in a timely fashion.

“The Weatherill Government is peddling the dangerous nonsense that it can deliver better health outcomes by slashing hospital services.  

“How will fewer hospital beds, fewer health workers and reduced Emergency Departments deliver better care?

“Rather than prune a well-padded health bureaucracy, the Weatherill Government is set to slash patient services in an attempt to reign in its massive budget deficit.”