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Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Question asked in Parliament on April 12, 2016

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 14:44 :46 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, representing the Minister for Health, questions with regard to patients at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.A. DARLEY: I was recently contacted by an elderly constituent who had to undergo abdominal surgery at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. They were advised that, rather than spending the night at the hospital after surgery, they would be taken by private chauffeur-driven vehicle to a nursing home in Unley to recuperate. They were also advised that they would be chauffeur driven home to their residence from the nursing home the following day. My questions are:

  1. Can the minister advise if it is common practice for private nursing homes to be utilised in this way and does this apply irrespective of age and whether the patient has private health cover or not?

  2. How many instances have occurred in the last two calendar years?

  3. How much has the government spent on the cost of accommodating people in nursing homes for this purpose?

  4. How much has been spent on car services for this purpose?

  5. Is this practice occurring because there are insufficient hospital beds?

  6. Is this practice occurring in other hospitals and, if so, can the minister provide the same details for all hospitals that engage in this practice?

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) ( 14:45 :55 ): I thank the honourable member for his very important questions—seven questions, I think—on private nursing homes and outpatients. I undertake to take those questions to the Minister for Health in the other place and seek a response on his behalf.

Response

Sept 27, 2016

In reply to the Hon. J.A. DARLEY ( 12 April 2016 )

The Hon. I.K. HUNTER (Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, Minister for Water and the River Murray, Minister for Climate Change) : The Minister for Health has received this advice :

  1. Patients undergoing day procedures do not usually need to be admitted overnight to a hospital ward. Nevertheless, patients generally need to be supervised when they are discharged from hospital following a day procedure. Patients who do not have any family or close friends available to supervise them are usually provided accommodation support in a private facility once it has been clinically determined that they are fit to be discharged from hospital. This service forms part of SA Health's metropolitan-wide Hospital and Health Care at Home Service Agreement. The contracted service provider organises the patient's transport and accommodation, as well as ensuring a care worker is available to supervise them. Access is irrespective of age or whether the patient has private health cover or not.

  2. In 2014, 706 patients across metropolitan Adelaide accessed this service. In 2015, 780 patients across metropolitan Adelaide accessed this service.

  3. The post-procedural accommodation support service, including all transport of the patient, is provided for a set cost of $360.34 per patient. In 2014, this service cost a total of $254,400. In 2015, this service cost a total of $281,065.

  4. There is a set cost for the total service, and car costs are inclusive of the total service cost of $360.34 per patient.

  5. No. Patients undergoing day procedures do not usually need to be admitted to a hospital ward overnight.

  6. This service forms part of a metropolitan-wide hospital avoidance and early supported discharge program.'

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