The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS: As a member in a previous parliament's select committee on the future of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, I have a long knowledge of TQEH, as I know other members in this place have through the Transforming Health select committee. Will the minister update the council on services at TQEH?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (15:32): I thank the honourable member for his question and his support for health services to Adelaide's western suburbs. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has been delivering quality health services to the western suburbs for many years, whilst supporting a strong research program. The credit for this solid record goes to the clinicians and hardworking staff of TQEH.
The former Labor government consistently ignored the health needs of the western suburbs. Labor's focus has been on pet projects such as the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. Labor ignored the health needs of the west, and under their disastrous Transforming Health experiment actively downgraded services at The QEH. People had to travel further and wait longer for the care they needed. The Marshall Liberal government is working to undo the damage of Transforming Health, in particular by upgrading the cardiac catheterisation laboratory.
One continuing problem has been medical imaging. The limited nature of the MRI licence restricted the medical imaging services available at The QEH and led to increased costs for the South Australian taxpayer and South Australian patients. Through 16 years of Labor, even with a federal Labor government, they couldn't or wouldn't deliver a full MRI licence for The QEH.
In contrast, today I was present at The QEH as Morrison government minister and South Australian senator Simon Birmingham announced a full MRI licence for The QEH. This was in part due to the strong advocacy of a number of people, and I want to thank the member for Colton, the federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, senator Birmingham, and the federal candidate for Hindmarsh, Jake Hall-Evans. All three have stood up for the needs of Adelaide's western suburbs and worked to make the voice of the community heard. In contrast to 16 long years of neglect by Labor, the Marshall and Morrison Liberal governments are working together on health services for the West.