Premier Weatherill and Health Minister Snelling have broken another key Labor promise by closing the paediatric ward and services 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.
In August last year, former Health Minister John Hill promised families in the north eastern suburbs the paediatric ward and services at Modbury Hospital would be retained:
“Virtually double the size of the ED at Modbury from 23 to 40 treatment and assessment spaces, costs about $17.4 million and it will include special areas for mentally unwell patients to keep them separated from the rest of the ED and also new spaces for paediatric patients as well.” (Minister Hill, 5AA, 3/8/2012)
Hospital staff were advised today that an initial assessment will be conducted by doctors in the Modbury Hospital emergency department in the future.
Paediatric patients will then need to be transferred by ambulance to Lyell McEwin Hospital for any ongoing treatment.
“Mr Weatherill and Mr Snelling continue to claim they are not cutting ‘front line services’ in health,” said Shadow Health Minister Rob Lucas.
“After this cut, families in the north eastern suburbs of Adelaide with sick or injured children will not believe Mr Weatherill or Mr Snelling.
“Once again, Premier Weatherill and Labor have demonstrated that they can’t be trusted to deliver what they promise.
“Families will be even angrier when they realise Mr Weatherill and Mr Snelling have wasted more than $40 million on an IT project blowout whilst at the same time they are cutting this critical service.”