Mark Goldsworthy MP , Member for Kavel Mark Goldsworthy MP , Member for Kavel - Coat of Arms

Mark Goldsworthy MP

Member for Kavel

(08) 8391 5599 Email me
Mark Goldsworthy MP, Member for Kavel


Member for Kavel

48 Hutchinson Street

Tel: (08) 8391 5599
Fax: (08) 8391 4744

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Modbury Hospital

Thursday, 10 March 2016


Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Kavel) (11:53): I want to speak in support of the motion that the member for Morphett has brought to the house. This is a very important issue. It is not only important for those residents in the suburbs of the north-eastern area of Adelaide, particularly the electorates of Florey, Wright and Newland, but it is also a very important issue for the residents in my electorate, particularly the northern areas of my electorate—Woodside, Gumeracha, Birdwood, Lobethal—those northern areas of the Adelaide Hills. No doubt, it is also important for those residents in the southern towns of the electorate of Schubert—Mount Pleasant, Kersbrook and Williamstown—because they all look to the Modbury Hospital for a very high level of health care.

What we have seen this government do over its 14 years, so far, of being a government, is to look to really set in place a certain style of spin. When I am talking about spin, they actually present what they are doing in a certain style to try to convince the constituency that they are actually improving services and delivery of whatever the government is responsible for to all South Australians.

What they are doing in relation to this initiative of Transforming Health, particularly in relation to Modbury Hospital, whichever way you look at it, is a pretty good exercise or a pretty poor exercise in spin. Let's get down to the tin tacks of it: Transforming Health is about reducing services and cutting costs, and that is exactly what is going to take place at the Modbury Hospital. They are reducing services and cutting costs at the Modbury Hospital, and that will obviously impact on the delivery of health care to all those residents in the north-east and also in the northern part of
the Adelaide Hills.

It is a very serious issue, because the last thing we want to see is patient care compromised. I am yet to be convinced, and everybody on this side of the house is yet to be convinced, of the government's spin that moving and transferring services from the Modbury Hospital to the Lyell McEwin Hospital is not going to compromise patient safety or care. As the member for Morphett said in his motion, 'patients do not have to travel 14 kilometres away to the Lyell McEwin Hospital'. If a patient presents at the Modbury Hospital with a critical health issue, to then have to put them in an ambulance, or the 'ambus'—the latest thing is the ambulance bus, and nobody really knows how the 'ambus' is going to work. 
Ms Bedford interjecting: 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: The minister was on the radio the other
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): The member for Florey. 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: —and they were asking questions about
the 'ambus'. 
Members interjecting: 
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: Nobody really quite knows how the 'ambus' is going to work. Whether you wait for half a dozen patients to sort of be stockpiled at the Modbury, then to be transferred to the Lyell McEwin—they might be there for a couple of hours— 
The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: —in a seriously— 
Mr Duluk interjecting: 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: The member for Davenport is right: they might be equivalent to sort of ramping. A staff member might come along and say, 'What are you lying on this bed for?' to a patient— 

The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: 'Oh, we're waiting for the bus. It comes at 12.05'—we do not have the timetable of the 'ambus' yet. For goodness' sake, get a grip on reality, government members, about what is going on in relation to this. Nobody on this side of the house, and I would not doubt an enormous percentage of the community that the Modbury Hospital delivers services to, is convinced that the transfer of important, lifesaving health services to the Lyell McEwin Hospital is not going to put—
The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! 

Mr GOLDSWORTHY: —patient care at a potential risk. 
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): You've had your chance.
Let the member speak. 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: Now we get to the issue—and I have raised this before in the house—concerning the information that some of the sitting Labor members are distributing in their electorates. I have raised this issue before about the material that has been distributed, particularly by the members for Florey and Newland in their electorates, listing the services that will be available at Modbury Hospital. We know that some of those services are going to be cut.

As I have said before in this place, I think it is the responsibility and the duty of those members to be honest with their electorates and now communicate in a factual manner to those electorates in the north-east about what the Modbury Hospital will deliver in terms of services now that Transforming Health is moving along and services will be cut. They have a responsibility and a duty to be honest with their constituents. We will be monitoring that very closely and, if it does not happen, I am telling them that it will be highlighted in those constituencies.

On this side of the house, we do not base our views on wild reasoning or unsubstantiated facts. We base our reasoning and our argument— 

The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 
The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! 

The Hon. J.M. Rankine interjecting: 

Mr GOLDSWORTHY: —on information that 30 medical specialists— 

The ACTING SPEAKER (Mr Bell): Order! Member for Wright, you have had your chance to speak. I call you to order. Please let the member give his speech in silence. 
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: Thank you, Mr Acting Speaker, for your protection. We know the member for Wright is a continual interjector and disruptor of the proceedings of the house. The government has this letter, because it is an open letter to the Minister for Health and SA Health. It is from 30 medical specialists from Modbury, and it lists a whole lot of issues. I do not think I have time to list them all but, under the first heading 'Overall', the letter states:  “…the reconfiguration of services will deliver poorer patient and health system outcomes.”

That is the opening line of their assessment of the effect that the Transforming Health reforms will have. The letter continues: "We feel strongly that Transforming Health…will deliver a downgraded Modbury Hospital with decreased capabilities and increased costs and risk.” That is the thing that concerns us the most—the potential for the increase in patients' risk, putting them on the 'ambus', getting on the timetable. 'Hang on, it's 12:05. Sorry, the bus has gone. We'll have to wait till 12:35 until the next bus arrives.' That whole thing is just ridiculous.

The letter talks about losses: “the hospital will lose the high dependency unit, 30 acute medical beds and surgical inpatient beds and after-hours on-site anaesthetic airway management services, so there is an overall decrease in the number of beds available for medical patients in the NALHN.” Under the heading 'Unnecessary transfers', the letter states that, “on the health department's own figures, there are 20 patient transfers per day from the Modbury Hospital to the Lyell McEwin hospital, which is nearly 7,500 patient transfers per year, costing $7.5 to $15 million per year and that that money would be better spent at Modbury.”

This is an open letter to the Minister for Health and SA Health signed by 30 medical specialists. That is where we derive our information from—the health specialists who deliver services at that hospital. 

Time expired.

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