$150 million country health backlog to be addressed


A decade long $150 million country hospital capital works and maintenance backlog will be addressed under the State Liberals’ Investing in Country Health policy.

Member for Stuart, Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, has been advocating for the need to ensure there is adequate investment in health facilities in the electorate of Stuart.

“Hospitals and health facilities play an important role in the electorate and throughout regional South Australia, where the Weatherill Labor Government’s neglect of country hospitals has left a backlog reported to be in the order of $150 million,” said Mr van Holst Pellekaan.

The key health policy – Investing in Country Health – will see more respect of the strong role played by local communities across regional South Australia in supporting hospitals and health facilities.

“Patients in Stuart are often disadvantaged by distance and challenges in accessing doctor and specialist attraction and retention, but just like their city cousins, they are entitled to fair access to health services.

“The State Liberals acknowledge the need to have a robust network of health care services right across South Australia. We are committed to ensuring Stuart is part of that focus by addressing the unacceptable $150 million country hospital capital works and maintenance backlog.”

A Marshall Liberal Government will fix the backlog in country capital works by:

  • Ensuring that all money raised in local communities is spent in local communities.
  • Acting with urgency to address high risk repairs and maintenance at country hospitals.
  • Implementing a country capital works renewal strategy to address the backlog in country capital works and plan positively for future development.
  • Developing a policy to retain part of private patient income in local hospitals for the benefit of local services.

Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said for too long the Weatherill Labor Government’s city-centric approach has undermined patient care, with many country hospitals run into the ground.

“Country South Australians have a long tradition of raising funds locally which help meet the health needs of communities, in particular, through buildings, upgrades and equipment.

“In the recent State Budget handed down by Labor, they made much of a $1.1 billion health spend, but there was not one dollar for capital investment in country hospitals.

“The State Liberals will empower Health Advisory Councils to control their trust funds, ensuring local funds meet local needs – protecting private donations and enabling local management of bequests.”