The State Liberals are concerned that yesterday’s glut of ambulances left waiting outside emergency departments at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), Flinders Medical Centre (FMC) and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) will become the norm in the next few years.
“It’s more than two years since the State Labor Government promised the implementation of the Monaghan Review would end ramping at FMC and now the problem has spread to the RAH and the QEH whilst remaining entrenched at FMC,” said Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“During the next three years the Weatherill Labor Government is planning to cut 2,544 health jobs from the public payroll as it looks to slash more than a billion dollars in recurrent spending from its health budget.
“The CEO of SA Health has confirmed to the B&F Committee that State health cuts are much more significant than Federal cuts – for example in 2017/18 State health cuts will be $417 million compared to Federal cuts of $186 million.
“All of this adds up to more patients spending more time waiting in ambulances at the back door of emergency departments throughout metropolitan Adelaide.
“It was a year ago that Health Minister Jack Snelling promised better flows through our emergency departments into other areas of the hospital to end ramping as a problem in South Australia’s emergency departments.
“Minister Snelling needs to detail how his savage cuts to the health budget will impact on the incidence of ramping and Adelaide’s major hospitals disastrous emergency department waiting times.
“Earlier this year figures released by the National Health Performance Authority showed South Australia had the worst emergency department performance in Australia.
“Our two largest hospitals, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Flinders Medical Centre, fall into the bottom 10 per cent of major metropolitan hospitals in Australia and the situation got worse during 2013.
“When the National Health Performance Authority report was released in April the State Government claimed that things had in fact already improved – yesterday’s widespread ramping makes a mockery of those claims.”