The Government must urgently respond to the revelations of Professor Jones and give surgeons clear authority to perform emergency surgery in life or organ-saving situations.
The current policy shows that Labor is completely out of touch with the primary responsibility of a health service – to save life and minimise injury.
It is bad enough that Labor has crippled the Modbury Emergency Department by withdrawing emergency surgery, but to say that surgeons cannot provide emergency surgery which could save a life or an organ increases the risk dramatically.
Two recent cases have highlighted the risk that patients are already experiencing.
In one case, a young man underwent more radical surgery than he might have had to if simpler emergency surgery had been done at Modbury and in another case a patient waited for 30 hours to have his appendix removed.
This is not simply a matter of going to the right hospital. In neither case did the patients have a confirmed diagnosis.
In the case of Mr Ventrice, it was three or four hours before tests and observations were completed and it was determined that he needed emergency surgery.
In both cases, I understand that emergency surgery could have been done at Modbury at the time.
If management is blocking health professionals providing available health care to their patients, this raises significant ethical issues.
“The tens of thousands of South Australians who rely on Modbury Hospital need the Health Minister to reverse his dangerous downgrade to Modbury Hospital,” said Mr Wade.