The Hon. J.A. DARLEY (14:39): My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Can the minister provide an update about the implementation of the government's policy and initiatives regarding the Modbury Hospital, and can the minister also provide details regarding the estimated time frame for implementation of these policy initiatives?
The Hon. S.G. WADE (Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:39): I thank the honourable member for his question. Modbury Hospital was one of the many casualties of Labor's disastrous Transforming Health experiment. Services at Modbury Hospital were downgraded as they were—
The Hon. E.S. BOURKE: Point of order, Mr President: is that an opinion or a statement?
The PRESIDENT: It's actually the minister's opinion, so he can give it. You may not agree with it, but it is his opinion.
The Hon. S.G. WADE: Twelve months in, we will learn something soon.
The PRESIDENT: Are we all finished on the opposition benches, because I would like to hear the ministers answer.
The PRESIDENT: Opposition members should show some respect to the crossbench. This is a—
The PRESIDENT: Order! This is a crossbench question, and it should—
The PRESIDENT: Show some respect!
The Hon. T.J. Stephens interjecting:
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Stephens!
The Hon. S.G. WADE: Yes, Mr President, I am entitled to give an answer to the question that has been asked and I would ask honourable members opposite to show a bit of respect to the Hon. Mr Darley; he at least cares for Modbury Hospital.
The PRESIDENT: Sit down for a moment. The Hon. Mr Darley does not get many questions, given he is on the crossbench. It's an important question; I want it answered in silence. Minister.
The Hon. S.G. WADE: It's hardly surprising, the embarrassment of the Labor Party, in this house when we talk about the Modbury Hospital—
The Hon. I.K. Hunter: You're the one that needs to be embarrassed.
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hunter, please!
The Hon. S.G. WADE: —because of their shameful—
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. S.G. WADE: —evading of the Modbury Hospital—
The PRESIDENT: Order!
The Hon. S.G. WADE: —under the Transforming Health experiment.
The Hon. I.K. Hunter interjecting:
The PRESIDENT: The Hon. Mr Hunter!
The PRESIDENT: After this question, I am going to the crossbench, so crossbench get ready.
The Hon. S.G. WADE: Thank you, Mr President. Modbury Hospital was one of the many casualties of Labor's disastrous Transforming Health experiment. Services at Modbury were downgraded, as they were across the metropolitan area at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Noarlunga Hospital, along with the closure of the Repat. The Marshall Liberal team committed before the 2018 election to support improved service delivery at Modbury Hospital through an upgrade which would include the establishment of a high dependency unit, an extended emergency care unit, an acute medical unit, an acute surgical unit and a purpose-built palliative care unit.
In November last year, the government delivered on the first stage of the commitment, with the return of the 72-hour surgery services to Modbury Hospital, allowing for surgery of greater complexity to be performed at the hospital.
The Hon. S.G. WADE: If honourable members were not interjecting, saying I have not delivered on anything, they would have heard that I have just said that last November this government returned 72-hour surgery to the Modbury Hospital, allowing for surgery of greater complexity to be performed at that hospital. This will also support the delivery of services to older patients who might need more time to recover but who were not able to be given the care following the downgrades of the hospital services under Labor's disastrous Transforming Health experiment. At this stage, I am advised that the surgical specialties provided are: colorectal, gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, orthopaedic and general surgery.
Last year, the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network established a clinical working group to develop a plan for the delivery of the high dependency unit. The group has made significant progress towards developing a model of care, which has recently been taken up by the HDU steering committee, which is providing recommendations to the CEO of NALHN in the middle of the year.
The re-establishment of the HDU is occurring as part of a $96 million capital upgrade of Modbury Hospital. Delivering a major upgrade to a working hospital is a very complex process. NALHN is working to ensure existing services continue to operate safely throughout the upgrade and that staff and consumers are not unnecessarily inconvenienced by having to be relocated a number of times over the course of the upgrade.
Accordingly, I am advised that, managing the transition, NALHN expects the HDU will become fully operational in early 2021. The entire upgrade, including the extended emergency care unit and the specialised palliative care unit, was approved by the Public Works Committee in December last year. Construction work has begun, and the construction phase of the extended care unit is expected to be completed midyear.
The government remains committed to undoing the damage of Labor's Transforming Health. As we do, we will ensure that clinical safety is maintained while delivering quality services to residents of Adelaide's northern suburbs, cut loose by Labor as they wrecked our public health system. We will deliver upgrades to Modbury and make sure that the people of the north get the services they deserve.