Healthy hospital outlook

HEALTH: Local Member Eddie Hughes has raised issues around service delivery at the Whyalla Hospital with Country Health.
HEALTH: Local Member Eddie Hughes has raised issues around service delivery at the Whyalla Hospital with Country Health.

Member for Giles Eddie Hughes says he has spoken to Health Minister Peter Malinauskas and Country Health about the delivery of of obstetric services and the availability of paediatricians at the Whyalla Hospital.

“We will work through those issues to get the best result for the Whyalla community,” he said.

The announcement comes days after SA Best Giles candidate Tom Antonio said his party would bring full-time obstetrics and paediatric specialists back to Whyalla if elected.

Mr Hughes pointed out that the state government contributed $20 million towards the upgrade of the Whyalla Hospital in partnership with the federal government.

“The party that Tom Antonio was a Member of until recently opposed the funding for the Whyalla Hospital upgrade at a Federal level,” he said.

“The upgrade enabled the delivery of additional services including Whyalla becoming a regional cancer treatment hub plus a new ward to accommodate people with mental health issues.”

Mr Hughes says he spoke to the Minister about the growing demand for dialysis in Whyalla. In January Premier Jay Weatherill announced a $140 million funding injection into country health.

Part of this funding was allocated to modifying the area accommodating the dialysis chairs at the Whyalla Hospital and increase the number of chairs.

“Given the modifications carried out it will now be easier to expand the service in future to meet growing demand,” Mr Hughes said.

Mr Hughes said the state government were also discussing what the best medical coverage model for the Whyalla Hospital would be, and what additional funding would be required.

“We will also work through the deficiencies in the delivery of obstetric and paediatric services,” he said.

“Even though SA Best had no clue about the overall health budget they were indicating potential funding cuts. It is no wonder that the Nurses and Midwifery Federation has scored SA Best with an F for their threadbare, cobbled together health policy.”