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post Future Directions for the Hospital

June 25th, 2008

Filed under: Health,Your Stories — newseditor @ 7:30 pm

This following was taken from Di’s comment on Community Planning Workshop but I have opened it as a new thread for discussion – amt

Wednesday was a very busy day, firstly with the rally concerning the Leigh Creek Hospital’s future direction…..

The strategic plan for SA Health has been posted on their website at http://www.health.sa.gov.au/countryhealthcareplan dated 19 June 2008.

A feedback form is available on that site. Use it to express your concerns about your access to health care at Leigh Creek Hospital.

Information sheets, a petition and feedback form were available at the rally. If you have not signed the petition, it is available at the hospital and around Leigh Creek businesses. If you are in other affected towns, then request that petition be available in your town or find out where you can sign it.

Things to think about are:-

*Hawker will be the closest 24 hour emergency GP assisted hospital.

*The importance of getting help within that first critical 1-3 hours.

*Costs for getting ill and injured people and their relatives to and from the Country General Hospital and Whyalla or Port Augusta.

*Stresses on the RFDS to fly people out to the major hospitals.These are just a few questions which need to be asked.

If you have more then write them here or on your feedback form. Apathy will not change anything, being vocal just might.

7 Comments

  1. thanks for moving this to its own page…I knew you would.

    Comment by di — June 25, 2008 @ 10:57 pm

  2. Just an interesting thought, on Tuesday morning we had a full scale aerodrome emergency when a twin engine aircraft enroute from Moomba to Adelaide had to divert & land here after the left engine failed. There were 19 POB (persons on board) – they landed safely but can you imagine the carnage if they hadn’t?

    Comment by Rose — June 26, 2008 @ 7:48 am

  3. unfortunately, the only way the government will stand up and listen, is if one of those POB’s were important POB’s.

    Comment by di — June 26, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

  4. or if, in some way, it stopped mining

    Comment by di — June 26, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

  5. an unnamed person did suggest to the NRG representative, that every person from Leigh Creek, Copley and surrounds, sit on the rail line in a peaceful protest. His response was this…..oh! but they have 2-3 months’ stockpile of coal down there. It wouldn’t make any difference.
    I am sure it would make a difference if the protest were long and protracted and involved everyone…especially when the media got wind of it.
    It seems to me that most have given up and will just accept what they are told….like little automatons…”go here…do this….go over there…..die here…don’t die there!!!!”
    🙁

    Comment by di — June 26, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  6. ROWAN RAMSEY MP
    Member for Grey
    Speech in Parliament House

    “Mr Speaker I would like again to draw the attention of the parliament to the all out attack on rural and regional communities in South Australia by the State Government with its plan to down grade 43 country hospitals to “GP Plus” centres, a polite euphemism for band-aid centres.

    I briefly spoke on this alarming situation earlier this week, but as the days go by there is more and more to be concerned about.

    I met with the Rural Doctors Association yesterday and discussed their vehement opposition to the plan and there are confirmed reports that doctors are reconsidering their future in a number of country communities to be affected by the proposed downgrading.

    The electorate is outraged, 400 people turned out for a protest meeting in Cummins on Eyre Peninsula, 800 at Yorketown, further meetings are being planned as I speak, one for Peterborough tonight, Port Broughton next week. At the Yorketown meeting an official from Country Health SA told those present if their needs could not be met at their local GP Plus Hospital, they could attend their nearest Country General Hospital in Whyalla. Whyalla is four and half hours away by car, are they serious?

    To recap, of the 43 hospitals to be downgraded, 23 of them are in my electorate of Grey. Their downgrading will have catastrophic knock-on effects to the local communities where they are situated. The ramifications of these moves, appear not to be understood by the government.

    The plan allows for four general hospitals to serve all of regional SA, two of them in my electorate, an area more than four times the size of Victoria. They will be supplemented by five “community hospitals” which will offer a lesser range of services, yet to be determined and none guaranteed.

    The remaining twenty three communities currently enjoying twenty four hour local hospital services, become GP Plus Centres. Inpatient services at these hospitals will be closed, beds will only be available for things like aged care and 24 hour observations, maternity, acute care and general surgical services will all be discontinued.

    This will mean people will have to travel, in many cases hundreds of kilometres to reach reasonable levels of service. This is not acceptable in any way. For example, from my house to the nearest “real” hospital will be 175km. The inescapable fact is that this trashing of country services will lead to avoidable loss of life.

    The escalation in patient transport costs, impacting on an already overworked and understaffed voluntary based ambulance service alone, has potential for huge cost blow-outs.”
    “Disturbingly it has come to light that the figures quoted as justification for the plan are flawed. Over-counting of currently available beds by a factor of thirty per cent show inaccurately low daily bed averages. Claimed community consultation by Country Health SA is totally discounted, as those present at these “consultations” claim the sessions focussed on primary health care and no reference was made to reducing current services.

    Significantly the SA Government has just completed the neutering of rural and regional South Australia’s health voice with the axing of the hospital boards, the people’s representatives. It can only be assumed that this is part of the overall plan to muzzle dissent.

    And what are the longer term ramifications of this decision? It is a fact of life, if you don’t have hospitals, you will not have doctors. Doctors will not come and work in country regions if they are to have no support and they can’t manage their patients locally. As I said earlier, already a number have indicated they will be giving up practise in rural South Australia, I have already heard stories of contacts from Queensland enticing doctors to a more friendly environment.

    The ramifications for communities without doctors reverberate through the whole economic structure of these communities. The loss of nurses and allied health professionals will follow as they find the environment has changed and they are not able to practise the range of skills for which they trained. What happens next?

    Most of these communities offer a reasonable range of aged care services. It is a right and proper thing that Australia should make sure that ageing residents be able to retire in their local community. Our hospitals and our doctors are the foundations of these services.

    When residents make the retirement decisions they will move to centres which offer a full range of services. This plan will lead to the destruction of the fabric of these communities.

    The Rural Doctors have called for the Prime Minister to intervene, to stop implementation of this plan and for the community impact statements to be commissioned and to establish a charter of Rural Health Obligation. I back those calls. The Prime Minister committed to governing for all Australians, he promised to fix hospitals, I call on him and the Health Minister to govern for the people of rural and regional South Australia and save our hospitals.”

    Comment by di — June 30, 2008 @ 9:37 pm

  7. TOO TRUE MR RAMSEY.
    gina

    Comment by gina — July 1, 2008 @ 7:05 pm

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