Public Works Committee: Modbury Hospital Transforming Health Project
Wednesday, 14 October 2015
Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Kavel) (11:47): I am pleased to speak
to the report that the member for Elder is bringing to the house as the Chair
of the Public Works Committee, in relation to different things occurring at
Modbury Hospital. Part of my constituency looks to the Modbury Hospital for the
provision of health services, particularly the northern part of the Kavel
I have listened to the member for Elder provide her contribution to the house and outline the significant works that are taking place at the Modbury Hospital, but the reality of this situation is that there are services being cut from the Modbury Hospital. I have raised this issue in the house previously. While I know it is against standing orders of the house to use materials as a display, I am going to use material that you, Deputy Speaker, as the member for Florey, put into your electorate some months ago. I understand the member for Newland has put similar material into his electorate, outlining what services would be provided at Modbury Hospital. On this material that has been circulated in the Florey and Newland electorates, it states that cardiology and orthopaedic services will be provided. We know that the Minister for Health has recently announced that those two categories of health services are being withdrawn from the Modbury Hospital. The Hon. Stephen Wade (the shadow minister for health in the other place) put out a statement last week saying that the government has made a decision to transfer orthopaedic and cardiology services to the Lyell McEwin Hospital from the Modbury Hospital. That presents a number of questions.
One of the main questions I think all the constituency in the suburbs in that part of Adelaide (and, also, in part of the member for Schubert's electorate and my electorate) is: what does that mean in terms of providing a satisfactory level of health service if an emergency presents? If a patient presents at the emergency department with a heart attack, for example, is the Modbury Hospital able to perform emergency cardiac surgery given that the cardiology service is being transferred to the Lyell McEwin Hospital? Does that mean that that patient is put at potential risk, having to be put in an ambulance and driven 15 minutes out to the Lyell McEwin Hospital? We want to
know the answers to these questions.
The leader asked a number of questions yesterday in question time about services and related issues at Modbury Hospital and we did not get very good answers, I have to say—just the usual spin and bluff and bluster that has been the hallmark of this Labor government over its 14-year term in government. Then the member for Florey asked a Dorothy Dixer of the Minister for Health and he gave a long answer. We on this side of the house are very concerned and very
interested in where this government is taking health in general; and I am very concerned, on behalf of my constituents who use the services at Modbury Hospital, where the government is taking the provision of services at the Modbury Hospital. That is my concern.
The members opposite can raise points of order and do what
they like to try to obfuscate what we are trying to achieve on this side of the
house, but it is probably one of the most important issues that South
Australians face—apart from the economic shambles the show is in: that sits,
probably, above this. It is critically important to understand what services
will be provided once this Transforming Health process is completed.
In answer to the member for Florey's question, the minister says, 'SA Health will also hold community information sessions.' That is part of the quote in the minister's answer. What does that mean? Are we going to have a proper meeting in a community forum or are we just going to see another repeat of a couple of public servants with a couple of placards positioned out at Tea Tree Plaza or Tea Tree Plus, or somewhere like that, where people just passing by can ask questions? That is what we have seen as some pretty glaring examples of the government's community consultation process in relation to issues. Is it going to be just a couple of those pull-up stands that you hook up on top of the frame, with a couple of public servants out there to answer questions if perchance some concerned member of the community happen upon them
and ask them some questions?
These are all very important issues. I know this is all a bit uncomfortable for the government members to deal with, but this is the reality of the situation because the government has form on these sorts of things—very poor form, I might say, in relation to its community consultation process. We have seen that over a myriad of issues over the last 14 years. I could go on forever about that, but my time is running out.
Given that the member for Newland and the member for Florey have put this material into their electorate saying that cardiology and orthopaedics are services that Labor is delivering at Modbury Hospital, I expect them to actually put out some new material and state that those services will no longer be provided—because that is the reality of the situation.
These are serious issues. As I said, if somebody presents at the emergency department with a cardiac arrest, with a heart attack, and has to undergo emergency surgery, will the surgeons at Modbury Hospital be able to perform that, or will that patient have to potentially be put at a higher level of risk, put in an ambulance and transported to Lyell McEwin or the Royal Adelaide Hospital to undergo surgery? These are very important issues, critically important issues, the government needs to address and answer in an accurate and truthful manner.