The State Liberals are calling on the Weatherill Labor Government to release the recommendations from its Transforming Health discussion paper immediately.
The Weatherill Labor Government promised that the Transforming Health consultation period would be finished before the Mid-Year Budget Review in mid-December, but almost halfway through January and not one budget decision has been made.
The delay in releasing these recommendations is creating great anxiety and uncertainty for those working in the health sector.
“Treasurer Koutsantonis stated nothing was off limits regarding health cuts: ”Do we close a hospital, cancel elective surgery, downsize emergency departments, change opening hours, close beds?” (Advertiser 20 June 2014)
“The Weatherill Labor Government must be open and upfront with the South Australian health sector and release the long-awaited Transforming Health recommendations,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“In particular the Weatherill Government needs to rule out closing any of our hospitals or their emergency departments.
“Our public hospital emergency departments are already at breaking point and closing a hospital or emergency department will only increase those pressures.
“Minister Snelling is planning to administer $766 million in cuts to the South Australian health system by 2017-18 and those cuts will bite deeply into the provision of health services in this state.
“The $766 million cuts the Health Minister is planning to inflict by 2017-18 are comprised of $491 million in state cuts and $275 million in federal cuts – 64 per cent are State cuts.
“If the Minister is genuinely interested in meaningful engagement with the community and health profession on how to implement his massive cuts, then it’s critical that he releases the Government’s proposals now.
“Our public hospitals are already in crisis before the Weatherill Government’s budget cuts and without exceptional leadership the situation will go from bad to dire in the coming years.”