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RAH bed cuts backflip

The State Liberals have welcomed the Weatherill Government’s backflip on the closure of 35 beds at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and renewed calls for Transforming Health to be suspended and audit of its impact conducted.

“Transforming Health is disfiguring Adelaide’s hospital network as the Weatherill Government chases budget savings by cutting frontline services,” said Shadow Health Minister Stephen Wade.

“The Weatherill Government must put all Transforming Health bed closures on hold and provide independently verified, publicly available data that the beds are no longer needed.”

In meetings with SA Health this morning the Nurses’ Federation has won a commitment that closures at the Royal Adelaide will be put on hold and undergo independent verification.

“The Minister must make the same commitment across all our hospitals,” said Mr Wade.

“Jack Snelling’s claim that hospital efficiencies allow southern hospitals to close 117 beds flies in the face of SA Health’s own data which shows that there are currently almost 300 people overdue for surgery in the south.

“Today’s backdown comes after the downgrading of the Modbury Emergency Department and confirmation that 117 beds will be closing in Adelaide’s southern hospital network.

“As recently as this week, the Health Minister reiterated the Government’s commitment “that beds will only be closed when efficiencies can be demonstrated and that reductions in beds and other resources are possible”.

“Yet the Weatherill Government has only released bed closures and job cut figures for one of the four metropolitan health networks.

“The Labor Government should immediately stop closing beds and lay on the table its plans for health services and independent verification of its claims.

“The Nurses’ Federation has belled the cat on Transforming Health reflecting that it is driven by economics, not patient considerations.