The Hon. Rob Lucas MLC

The Hon

Rob Lucas MLC

Treasurer

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Weatherill Government closes Modbury Paediatric Ward today

Friday, 13 December 2013

Premier Weatherill and Health Minister Snelling will today break another Labor promise by closing the paediatric ward and associated services at Modbury Hospital.

What is even more galling for families and children is the fact this week is actually the 40th anniversary of the operation of the paediatric ward at Modbury Hospital.

As recently as February this year, Minister Snelling had been promising families in the north eastern suburbs a ‘paediatric ward’ and ongoing paediatric services:

“The secure paediatric ward will allow for any children who enter the department to be seen and treated away from the general population” (Minister Snelling, press release, 22/2/2013)

This press release included supporting statements from Labor MPs Frances Bedford and Tom Kenyon.

Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas said the Weatherill Labor Government had “thumbed its nose” at the more than 3750 people who signed petitions to keep the ward open.

“Mr Weatherill and Mr Snelling have broken their promise not to cut ‘front line services’ in health,” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.

“It was also revealed last week the Weatherill Labor Government is not only closing the paediatric ward at Modbury Hospital but is also stopping all paediatric ENT (ear, nose, throat) surgery at Modbury Hospital today.

“Surgeons have advised this will mean children needing tonsils removed or tubes inserted into their ears will have to go elsewhere.

“SA Health advised Modbury surgeons the Government’s plan was for these children to be operated on at the Lyell McEwin Hospital.

“However, surgeons at the LMH told SA Health they are not able to undertake paediatric surgery at the LMH as required by SA Health. This was confirmed by both the Royal College of Surgeons and SASMOA, and paediatric surgery has already stopped at LMH.

“Surgeons have indicated the LMH does not have the required facilities and equipment for paediatric surgery and surgeons also do not have the required credentials and approvals from the RCOS to conduct paediatric surgery.

“Many families chose to live in the north eastern suburbs because of the health services in their area. They don’t want to have to make the long and inconvenient trip to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and to have their children join waiting lists which surgeons say in some cases are up to 3 years.

“Steven Marshall and the State Liberals have already promised if elected they will reverse this unacceptable Weatherill Labor Government decision.

“Mr.Weatherill and Mr.Snelling stand condemned for yet another blatant broken promise.

“South Australians deserve a better Government with the right priorities to put South Australia back on track.”
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