LABOR’S RENEGES ON HEALTH REFORM FOR COUNTRY HOSPITALS
Posted on Friday, 24 December, 2010
Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon’s announcement of the effective abandonment of “local management” for hospitals leaves rural and regional hospitals without a local voice and all decision-making processes based in Adelaide, according to Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey.
“The Government had promised during the election that control of hospitals would be vested in about 150 local management teams Australia wide”, Mr Ramsey said. “With this Christmas Eve announcement we find they hope now to establish about half of this number, while unbelievably in SA we will have just one”.
“Even on a per capita basis the revised number should mean around seven in the SA.
“It is ridiculous to put hospitals as far apart as Murray Bridge and Coober Pedy, or Mount Gambier and Ceduna in the same management footprint”, said Mr Ramsey. “It shows the Federal Government hasn’t even looked at a map of South Australia”.
“The Labor Party made extravagant claims leading into both of the last two federal elections, promising fix the blame game, to take over hospitals and importantly to hand control of hospitals back to locals”, Mr Ramsey said.
“These commitments have been abandoned one by one. All we have to show for the bluster is a pea and thimble trick on funding with GST receipts to the states to being subsumed by the Commonwealth and even this looks like falling over as State Governments re-examine the effects on their budgets.
“This “one size fits all” health system is exactly what I was predicting would happen. The State Government abolished local boards in 2008, since that time we have seen a steady movement of power to the city.
“The fact that the government has chosen to try and bury this announcement the day before Christmas, hoping to avoid scrutiny, is an indication of how they know they have fallen short of the mark.
“It is a repeat of recent form with embarrassing announcements including the collapse of the Green Loans scheme, another re-writing of the mining tax and the State Government’s unfathomable decision to approve the resumption of exploration for uranium in the pristine wilderness of Arkaroola all in the last few days before Christmas.
Media Contact: Rowan Ramsey 0458 546 852
December 24, 2010