Labor will deliver a comprehensive health plan for South Australia

Monday, 06 May 2019

CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE

MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

 

SA FEDERAL LABOR TEAM

 

A Shorten Labor Government will reverse the Liberals’ hospital cuts and invest more in vital infrastructure as part of Labor’s commitment to providing quality critical support and care to those who need it most, when they need it most.

This election will be a choice between a united Shorten Labor Government which will reverse the Liberals’ health cuts and build the hospitals our community deserves, or more of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos. We need real change, because more of the same isn’t good enough.

Labor understands we need a world-class healthcare system which serves the interests of the Australian people.

When funding is cut to our hospitals it means services and access to treatment is reduced.

We know Scott Morrison and the Liberals have cut $31 million from hospitals in South Australia. If they are re-elected, they’ll cut $144 million more.

This is a disgrace.

In stark contrast, Labor will provide South Australians with a world-class healthcare system by fully funding our hospitals with targeted investment.

Supporting health care in the Southern Suburbs and the Adelaide Hills

Growing populations in Adelaide’s Southern Suburbs and the Adelaide Hills has put hospitals under pressure and struggling to cope with increased demand.

Patients are being left stranded for hours in ambulances, with Emergency Departments unable to admit patients needing urgent care. This is not good enough.

A Shorten Labor Government will invest critical funding into hospitals to alleviate this pressure on our Emergency Departments; ensuring patients get the care they need.

As part of $28.6 million package aimed at supporting the Southern Suburbs and the Adelaide Hills, a Shorten Labor Government will invest:

  • $15.4 million to expand the Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department – ensuring patients can have access to care when they need it most.
  • $8.6 million to build a new Emergency Department at Mount Barker Hospital.
  • $4.6 million to expand the Noarlunga Hospital – increasing the services available to residents in Adelaide’s Southern Suburbs.

Labor will also provide $5 million for a Veterans’ Hub in the electorate of Boothby to provide critical health and support services to our veterans and ex-service personnel.

In addition, Labor will invest in better health care for South Australia with:

  • $35 million for the Repatriation General Hospital, including:
    • $30 million for the Spinal and Brain Unit.
    • $5 million for the Eating Disorder Unit.
  • An estimated $35 million to blitz emergency department waiting times.
  • An estimated $16 million to blitz elective surgery waiting times.
  • An estimated $35 million to tackling cancer through our Medicare Cancer Plan.
  • $2.5 million for a new Clinical Simulation Lab for Flinders University, providing a new state-of-the-art clinical simulation equipment to improve training outcomes and ensure health professionals start their placements with well-developed practical skills.
  • A new, full headspace centre in Boothby to deliver early intervention mental health services for those aged 12 to 25 years.
  • $10 million to support the Jodi Lee Foundation run a national awareness campaign to increase bowel cancer testing rates.
  • $50 million contribution to the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Under Labor, SA hospitals will be an estimated $197 million better off. Labor will invest in critical services and support for South Australia, including:

  • Linking two hospitals to our National Telestroke Network.
  • A new Camp Quality Liaison Officer.
  • Eight specialist cancer nurses.
  • Two Red Cross Milk Banks.
  • The additional Medicare MRI licences.

South Australia will also benefit from our $2.4 billion Pensioner Dental Plan.

This is a better, comprehensive health plan for South Australia which only a Shorten Labor Government can deliver.

Labor can pay for better local hospitals because we will make multinationals pay their fair share and close tax loopholes used by the top end of town.

As Treasurer, Scott Morrison cut funding from health while trying to give an $80 billion tax handout to big business, including $17 billion to the big banks.

And Morrison will cut even more money from hospitals if the Liberals win the election.

Families in Adelaide’s south are sick of the Liberals’ cuts and chaos. They want investment in their hospitals and health care.

That’s what a Shorten Labor Government will deliver.

If you want better hospitals and schools, not more cuts – vote Labor.

After six years of Liberal cuts and chaos, our united Labor team is ready.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON TODAY’S ANNOUNCEMENT

The Flinders Medical Centre ED averaged more than 22,223 presentations per quarter in 2017-18 compared to the Royal Adelaide Hospital ED which averaged 19,423 presentations per quarter – a startling difference of 2,800.

This is the despite the Flinders Medical Centre Emergency Department having 24 fewer treatment areas than the Royal Adelaide Hospital ED, asking them to do more with less.

Labor will invest $8.6 million to build a new Emergency Department at Mount Barker Hospital which will provide critical care with state-of-the-art technology. This is in addition to a new Medicare-subsidised MRI licence to the Mount Barker District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital.

As one of the three general hospitals servicing the outer metropolitan Adelaide and the primary hospital, Noarlunga Hospital is critical to the outer and southern suburbs.

Labor’s $4.6 million commitment to expanding the services at Noarlunga Hospital will take pressure off the system by ensuring patients can utilise the hospital without having to be transferred to other hospitals.

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