Media Releases

Renovating the Transforming Health Process: Fences Before Ambulances

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent’s motion on Delivering Transforming Health has passed the South Australian Legislative Council with resounding support this evening.

“Our motion focused on areas of rehabilitation, mental health and communication, but the whole process of how this consultation is panning out, and the details of the plan have developed as key defining issues,” says Kelly Vincent.

“The Liberal Opposition and cross-benchers supported the motion, demonstrating widespread concern on Transforming Health.

“Calls and emails to my office have been from community members; health service users, and health professionals – they are all apprehensive about the planned changes given the government’s failure to comprehensively detail the proposed changes.

“The government must adequately resource preventative health care measures – we need fences at the top of the cliff to stop people getting sick, rather than ambulances at the bottom, mopping up after the preventable injury, illness or disease has occurred.

“Other than a select few yes-men within the Department, the community feels shut out of the consultation process. The health system does need reform in this state, but not to the exclusion of basic considerations such as bringing the community with you on that journey by consulting them in the first place.

“There is no evidence to suggest that attention to detail has been applied when we look at suggestions being made in rehabilitation services and mental health.

“We already have world-class hydrotherapy pools at Hampstead Rehabilitation Service and Repatriation Hospital but there’s a shortage in South Australia – why don’t we keep the ones we have open and build additional resources instead of cutting the ones we have?

“We also have proven in-patient and out-patient rehabilitation services that include many gymnasiums and groups supports with peers in low stress environments. How will this be replicated in an acute hospital setting?

“The Delivering Health document includes action already taken in mental health as advertising for a Chief Psychiatrist. This isn’t revolutionary – it’s required when someone leaves the post – what’s transformative in that announcement?

“In the meantime they say nothing about the real crises regarding waiting times, and the lack of specialist services in mental health. Real consultation and detail is needed to allay concerns and generate positive outcomes which take into account the viewpoints of consumers,” said Ms Vincent.