The State Liberals have blamed the Weatherill Government’s disastrous Transforming Health budget cuts and its decision to move into the new Royal Adelaide Hospital at the height of the flu season for a massive blowout in overdue elective surgery waiting times in Adelaide hospitals.
“During the last 12 months the number of patients waiting for overdue elective surgery in Adelaide hospitals has jumped from 304 to 1648,” said Shadow Minister for Health Stephen Wade.
“The 440 per cent increase in the number of South Australians waiting for overdue elective surgery is a totally unacceptable risk to patients.
“The larger the number of people forced to wait for vital elective surgery, the greater the number of adverse outcomes those patients experience.
“Last month, in an effort to get on top of the elective surgery backlog, Health Minister Malinauskas promised to employ additional doctors and anaesthetists including over the Christmas period.
Since then, however, things have worsened significantly – there are now more overdue elective surgery cases than at any time last year.
“The shocking reality is that the closure of the Repat has removed significant capacity from South Australia’s surgical capacity at the very time that the Government was moving the RAH.
“Closing the Repat was a central component of the Weatherill Labor Government’s discredited Transforming Health agenda which will wreak havoc across the South Australian health system for years to come.
“Prior to Transforming Health, the Repat was a powerhouse for elective surgery in this state and the loss of the Repat’s elective surgery capacity is reverberating throughout the health system.
“The veterans community fought long and hard to save the Repat, gathering more than 120,000 signatures and spending many long, cold nights sleeping on the steps of Parliament House in an effort to persuade Jay Weatherill to honour Labor’s promise to “never, ever” close the Repat.
Under a Marshall Liberal Government the Repat site will be retained as a health precinct as our southern hospital network is not coping without the key health assets on the site.”