HOSPITAL SERVICES

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: Last week in this place I raised the question of staff wellbeing. I was pleased to hear from the minister about steps being taken to support staff in the health sector. Will the minister update the council on some of the pressures in the health system?

The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:15): I thank the honourable member for his question. There is no doubt that one of the most acute stresses is working in an overcrowded hospital or, in particular, an overcrowded emergency department or ambulance ramp. The state of the health system in South Australia was starkly highlighted today by the release of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report into Australian hospitals for the year 2017-18.

The data for South Australia is a condemnation of Labor's 16 years of mismanagement of the state's health system, and in particular highlighted the stressful situation that South Australian nurses and doctors work under in the South Australian health system. We have the four worst performing emergency departments in the country and half of the 10 worst performing elective surgery waiting times at metropolitan hospitals. We have the lowest proportion of any state of patients categorised as emergency cases seen on time. We have the lowest proportion of ED presentations completed within four hours of any Australian jurisdiction.

Looking at the individual hospitals: in 2017-18 the Royal Adelaide Hospital was the worst performing hospital in Australia for patients departing the ED within four hours; the RAH was followed by Modbury, which was the second worst hospital in Australia; the Lyell McEwin was the third worst hospital in Australia; and it was followed by the Flinders Medical Centre, which was the fourth worst hospital on this metric.

This is objective data, which demonstrates that Labor drove our state's public health system into the ground. In particular, the member for Croydon and the member for Kaurna stand condemned by this report card on their performances respectively as health minister and assistant health minister. On their watch our major metropolitan hospitals were the worst in the nation. They have no credibility when it comes to health. They failed the people and they failed the state.

Whenever Labor tries to obstruct and criticise the Marshall government as it works to turn around the health system, this report will rise up in condemnation of them for the wrecking job they did on the South Australian health system. Unlike Labor, who refused to accept responsibility for their disastrous mismanagement and would rather rewrite history, the Marshall Liberal government accepts this report. We commit to change; we need to do things differently to turn around our health system.

I want to emphasise that this report is not a reflection on the clinicians and staff who support services in the health system. Every day they put in their best efforts to provide quality health care. It was the former Labor government, over 16 years of mismanagement, who let them down and let down the people of South Australia.

This government is determined to empower clinicians and staff. We must devolve the decision-making from head office out into our hospitals. I reiterate my support for our high-quality clinicians and health professionals. The government has already begun the work that needs to be done to make the change our health system needs.

Since the election, I have been working to clean up the mess Labor left in our health system. The Marshall Liberal government is reactivating the Repat. We have returned multiday surgery to Modbury Hospital; we have restored 24/7 cardiac services to The Queen Elizabeth Hospital; we have opened new mental health beds at the Lyell McEwin; we have also intervened at our central hospitals, engaging a new board, a new CEO, supported by KordaMentha, to try to turn around the culture and the financial management in CALHN.

We are getting on with the job of rebuilding our health system. There is no silver bullet. We all know that it requires a long-term plan. This is what the Liberal Marshall government is determined to deliver.