The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (17:20): My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister advise whether the new Liberal government has any plans to restore health services at Noarlunga Hospital?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (17:20): I thank the honourable member for his question. In answering the question, considering a recurring theme in the house today has been the willingness of the incoming government to honour their commitments, I would remind the house that when the Labor Party formed government after the last election they brought into this parliament a commitment to spend $31 million upgrading the Noarlunga Hospital, and yet within a year, under the guise of their Transforming Health reform package, they slashed that capital investment to $12 million. That money was used primarily not to honour the election commitments but to change the nature of that centre to a day centre and basically to take services that had been dislocated from the Repat—another broken Labor promise. They promised never, ever to close the Repat, and yet they broke another promise to fund the transfer of Repat services.
In terms of the specific question the honourable member raised, the Marshall Liberal government committed to an upgrade of the Noarlunga Hospital to establish a 12-bed acute medical ward with a capacity to expand over time as demand was required. That particular commitment has received a lot of attention in the south—very warmly welcomed—but I am just as proud of other elements of our package for the south. We committed to establishing a women's and children's hub in the Noarlunga Hospital precinct and specifically to look at the feasibility of basing a southern community midwifery team at Noarlunga Hospital or supported by Noarlunga in the south.
I am particularly keen to try and increase the access for southern families to antenatal services from Noarlunga Hospital. For many people, going all the way from the southern regions to FMC for antenatal clinics is just a step too far.
We are looking at the realignment of surgical services in the south. My decision, which was announced yesterday, to terminate the contract of the Repat provides exciting opportunities not just for the Repat but also for Noarlunga. I have met with the executive team of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, and there was a palpable sense of excitement about what could happen as we try to recover from the Transforming Health disaster.
There are all sorts of services where you could develop centres of excellence. Whether that is in geriatric care, women's and children's care or mental health, there are all sorts of opportunities that the decision to terminate the Repat contract creates, and we are very keen to work with communities and clinicians as we honour our promises