Home » 南京夜网 » Country hospitals still in limbo

Country hospitals still in limbo

PROTEST TIME: Despite the public outcry, including a large scale rally on the steps of Parliament House last October and numerous petitions, the State Government is refusing to budge on cuts to country hospitals.SOUTH Australian rural communities will be left to pick up the bill from the State Government’s dogged determination to withdraw about $800,000 in funding to three community-run, not-for-profit hospitals if drawn-out discussions with Country Health SA fail to deliver.
Nanjing Night Net

The cuts to Keith & District Hospital, Moonta Health & Aged Care Service and Ardrossan Community Hospital were announced in the State Budget nearly five months ago and despite the public outcry, including a large-scale rally on the steps of Parliament House last October and numerous petitions, Health Minister John Hill is refusing to budge.

All three hospitals have had their finances examined for possible cost-savings. While Keith and Moonta are still in discussions with Country Health SA about the uncertain future of their hospitals, Ardossan Community Hospital Board is resigned to losing $140,000 of accident and emergency department funding.

Ardrossan chairman Doug Barton said the Board had vowed to keep both their accident and emergency department and hospital open.

“We have been helped by Country Health SA and given access to a consultant who will help us make a few changes. We will do other things ourselves,” he said.

“It is very disappointing and we can’t see the logic or fairness but we have an undertaking from the Liberals if they get back into government in 2014, it will be restored. In the meantime, life will go on.”

Keith & District Hospital Board chairman James De Barro said the Board was still in discussions with Country Health SA – another meeting between the two parties was held on Monday – but he was unable to comment further on the progress.

Late last year, Keith’s Board commissioned a report by Flinders University School of Education’s John Halsey into the social impacts on the upper South East town and other rural communities of stripping essential services such as basic health care and education.

Professor Halsey estimates the costs from a lack of confidence in the town’s future to be far greater than the proposed $363,000 funding cut with financial pressure on small businesses to downscale or relocate.

“Maintaining local access to essential human services in rural communities is fundamental to them being vibrant and productive. Strip away the institutional capital and sustainability becomes jeopardised and a downward spiral of decline and dysfunction sets in,” the report says.

As a former principal, he has first hand knowledge of the need for services to attract young families and skilled professionals to country towns.

“Upfront, before moving to an area, people will ask ‘what is the school like, what is the housing like and is there a hospital, a doctor and a dentist’ and make their decisions based on this,” he said.SOUTH Australian rural communities will be left to pick up the bill from the State Government’s dogged determination to withdraw about $800,000 in funding to three community-run, not-for-profit hospitals if drawn-out discussions with Country Health SA fail to deliver.

The cuts to Keith & District Hospital, Moonta Health & Aged Care Service and Ardrossan Community Hospital were announced in the State Budget nearly five months ago and despite the public outcry, including a large-scale rally on the steps of Parliament House last October and numerous petitions, Health Minister John Hill is refusing to budge.

All three hospitals have had their finances examined for possible cost-savings. While Keith and Moonta are still in discussions with Country Health SA about the uncertain future of their hospitals, Ardossan Community Hospital Board is resigned to losing $140,000 of accident and emergency department funding.

Ardrossan chairman Doug Barton said the Board had vowed to keep both their accident and emergency department and hospital open.

“We have been helped by Country Health SA and given access to a consultant who will help us make a few changes. We will do other things ourselves,” he said.

“It is very disappointing and we can’t see the logic or fairness but we have an undertaking from the Liberals if they get back into government in 2014, it will be restored. In the meantime, life will go on.”

Keith & District Hospital Board chairman James De Barro said the Board was still in discussions with Country Health SA – another meeting between the two parties was held on Monday – but he was unable to comment further on the progress.

Late last year, Keith’s Board commissioned a report by Flinders University School of Education’s John Halsey into the social impacts on the upper South East town and other rural communities of stripping essential services such as basic health care and education.

Professor Halsey estimates the costs from a lack of confidence in the town’s future to be far greater than the proposed $363,000 funding cut with financial pressure on small businesses to downscale or relocate.

“Maintaining local access to essential human services in rural communities is fundamental to them being vibrant and productive. Strip away the institutional capital and sustainability becomes jeopardised and a downward spiral of decline and dysfunction sets in,” the report says.

As a former principal, he has first hand knowledge of the need for services to attract young families and skilled professionals to country towns.

“Upfront, before moving to an area, people will ask ‘what is the school like, what is the housing like and is there a hospital, a doctor and a dentist’ and make their decisions based on this,” he said.

Prof Halsey said another major impact was likely to be the devaluation of real estate in Keith, and even assuming only a modest reduction of $5000 a dwelling, it showed residents would collectively be paying about $1.75 million for the decision.

Debate to date had centred around the economics of funding a particular number of beds but in the report he examined the bigger picture and the importance of maintaining vibrant rural communities for a sustainable Australia.

Full story in Stock Journal, January 27 issue, 2011.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Posted in 南京夜网

Comments are closed.