The Hon. J.S.L. Dawkins: My question is directed to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister update the council on services in the Central Adelaide Local Health Network?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:12): I thank the honourable member for his question. Members will recall the Auditor-General's scathing report of Labor's mismanagement of CALHN, which was backed up by KordaMentha's diagnostic report. Labor left CALHN with a budget overspend of nearly $300 million and an organisation that Mark Mentha of KordaMentha described as the most broken he had ever seen. The Marshall Liberal government considers that South Australians deserve better. The government began the CALHN turnaround project last year, appointing a new board led by Raymond Spencer as chair and Mick Reid as deputy chair. A new chief executive officer, Lesley Dwyer, has also been appointed and we engaged KordaMentha, who have a track record of financial turnarounds here in South Australia having saved the Whyalla steelworks.
Today, I am pleased to advise the council that the 100-day update is in and it is showing good positive signs of the successes in CALHN. For example, the use of agency staff is down from highs of 7.7 per cent of nursing workforce to 0.7 per cent. This means that patients get better continuity of care and also it is more affordable. It is also a win for our nurses and other staff in ongoing positions and is a development the ANMF has welcomed. The average length of stay in CALHN's hospital has been reduced by half a day. This means that patients are not spending unnecessary time in hospital when they could be home and it means that beds are freed up for other patients to move out of the emergency department or ambulances.
The coding backlog that Labor has left has been resolved, with more than 9,000 uncoded separations now completed. Importantly, staff at CALHN have welcomed these changes. The government is putting in the work needed to support better health services in the state after Labor left the system broken from its own mismanagement and its own Transforming Health disaster.
Labor's scare campaign on bed closures was called out by the ANMF, which recently advised a parliamentary committee that this government has not closed any beds commissioned for long-term use. The Marshall Liberal government is supporting our hospitals and front-line staff to deliver high quality health care and deliver it sustainably.