Thursday, 2 November 2017
Mr GOLDSWORTHY (Kavel) (11:54): I am pleased to speak in support of the motion that the member for Morialta has brought to the house because it is accurate. It is an accurate summation of what is taking place at Modbury Hospital. Whenever there is an opportunity to speak about Modbury Hospital, I usually avail myself of that opportunity because, as I have highlighted in the house before, if the towns to the north of my electorate—Lobethal, Mount Torrens, Birdwood and Gumeracha—do not avail themselves of the services of the Gumeracha hospital, patients normally look to Modbury Hospital for healthcare services.
Those towns in the northern area of Kavel, due to the redistribution of electoral boundaries, are coming out of Kavel and going into the seat of Morialta, so upon the re-election of the member for Morialta in March next year he will have the pleasure of representing those tremendous northern Adelaide Hills towns. I listened to the member for Playford's contribution. He talked about the impoverishment of health care and health policy. Well, if ever there was an architect of the impoverishment of healthcare services at Modbury Hospital, it is the member for Playford because he was the minister for health for quite a number of years. I find it quite interesting that the member for Playford himself would highlight those issues.
We have seen what an absolute debacle Transforming Health has been over a number of years, so much so that some months ago, when I spoke on issues relating to health, I recounted that, if my memory serves me correctly, the current president of the Labor Party, federal member Mark Butler, wrote a letter highlighting his concerns about what was taking place in relation to Transforming Health. If I am incorrect, I am happy to come back and correct the record. However, I think it is the case that the president of the Labor Party highlighted his concerns about what was taking place with health services, particularly at The QEH, from memory, and the impact that Transforming Health was having in cutting services right across a whole swathe of the western suburban area.
The member for Morialta raised some very important issues in highlighting the motion that he has brought to the house. I do not necessarily need to traverse all those issues, but we have seen some hypocrisy in how the government in more recent times has been dealing with health services. That goes to some issues that the Hon. Stephen Wade, shadow minister for health and wellbeing in the other place, highlighted just on the weekend. The Hon. Stephen Wade put out a press release on this issue. It is headed, 'Weatherill cutting the heart out of Modbury'. I will quote: Last month Jay Weatherill promised community consultation into a review of services at Modbury Hospital— now we learn that at the same time the Government was silently cutting cardiac outpatient services. This latest cut to services at Modbury Hospital highlights that the Weatherill Government is pushing on with Transforming Health in all but name. We all remember the press conference that was held by the Premier and the then health minister when they said that Transforming Health is all finished and that they had carried out everything they wanted to do under Transforming Health. However, we know it has not stopped; it continues. As the Hon. Stephen Wade in the other place highlights, the government is pushing on with that policy initiative in all but name—Transforming Health in all but name.
The other interesting thing that I think needs to be raised in the house is that we had a set up with the ambus, the ambulance bus, that was meant to transfer patients from Modbury to Lyell McEwin. If ever there is an example of a shambles, the ambus certainly was that. If my memory serves me correctly, when it was first rolled out I do not think anybody was licensed or qualified within the health service to drive the thing, so there was a problem from the outset that they did not have an experienced person who could drive the ambus. I understand that the services of the ambus were cancelled some months ago. The ambus does not operate from Modbury Hospital to Lyell McEwin Hospital anymore, and that is probably because patients realised it was no good going to Modbury because the government has pulled the guts out of the services at Modbury and they may as well just keep travelling in the car up to the Lyell McEwin. As the member for Morialta accurately pointed out, there has been a Code White at both Modbury and the Lyell McEwin Hospital.
On a couple of final points, the member for Newland and the member for Florey, when she was a member of the Labor Party, put out material into their electorates. I guess the member for Florey's position has changed considerably as she is no longer a member of the Labor Party and now an Independent member.
Mr Gardner: She's free.
Mr GOLDSWORTHY: She's got some newfound freedom. That's right, John. But the member for Newland is still locked in to the Labor Party position on Modbury. He has put out some material into his electorate that, as time has gone on, is not accurate. I think it is the responsibility of the member for Newland to accurately communicate to his electorate what is taking place at Modbury Hospital.
In contrast to all that, the Liberal Party has made some outstanding policy announcements in relation to Modbury Hospital. The Marshall Liberal government will establish a four-bed high dependency unit at the hospital to enable the return of more complex surgical cases to the downgraded hospital. The return of a high dependency unit will reduce the risk to patients undergoing treatment at Modbury and enable a wider range of surgical procedures to be performed at the hospital. The high dependency unit will help restore the local community's confidence in the Modbury Hospital and reduce the number of people needing to travel to Lyell McEwin Hospital in an emergency. We have seen just this week, as the member for Morialta highlighted, a Code White in the ED at Lyell McEwin, so they are at capacity, if not over capacity, in dealing with emergency presentations. For the members of the government to try to lecture us on health policy, I think, is a bit rich. It is not a bit rich, it is enormously rich, if I can use that phrase. Transforming Health has been a complete failure. We know it, the community knows it, the medical profession knows it, and the only way to restore good health policy back into our health services is to elect a Marshall Liberal government in March next year.