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Resuscitating the Repat

The State Liberals have strengthened their commitment to retain the Repat Hospital site as a health precinct with a plan to reopen operating theatres on the site for colonoscopies, urology, and orthopaedics.

If elected to Government on 17 March, the State Liberals will move swiftly to ensure high quality health facilities at the Repat are used to address South Australia’s elective surgery backlog.

Bulldozing first class community health assets when our hospital system cannot cope with the current level of need is a bankrupt health policy.

All options are now on the table including the possibility of compulsorily acquiring key parts of the site if the sale to ACH Group is finalised prior to the March election.

The State Liberals are putting the ACH Group on notice that the community health facilities on the Repat site will be required by a Marshall Liberal Government.

We are not going to allow tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ dollars to be wasted when there is a urgent need for them.

Last month, the Weatherill Government promised to employ extra surgeons and anaesthetists at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital – including over the Christmas period – in an effort to halt the escalating elective surgery crisis.

Since then, the number of overdue elective surgery operations has jumped by more than 20 per cent, to more than 1800 cases. On 22 January more than one third of elective surgery operations at the new RAH were overdue, including 120 urgent Category 1 operations.

The problem of overdue operations at the new RAH is now spreading to other hospitals including Flinders Medical Centre where more than 450 operations are overdue, including over 100 Category 1 operations.

This blowout in overdue elective surgery is a crisis entirely of the Labor Government’s making.

The Weatherill Government pushed ahead with the closure of the Repat Hospital – an elective surgery powerhouse – just when the waiting list was spiralling out of control.

If things are this bad now, what will South Australians be facing when this year’s flu season arrives.

The crisis that the Labor Government has created demands an urgent response.

The Weatherill Government must swallow its pride and stop any further moves to dispose of the Repat assets.