Surgical service questions raised

Surgical service questions raised

The future of surgical services at Millicent and other hospitals in this region appears to hang on a high-level report which might not release its findings until next year.


Operating theatres have been in use at Millicent since the current hospital opened 60 years ago while its birthing suite was closed in 2013.


Nowadays, visiting surgeons carry out day surgery in various spheres at Millicent.


However, the Limestone Coast Local Health Network regional board has expressed disquiet in its public deliberations about the continuation of such surgical services at smaller hospitals across the region.


New nationwide standards require substantial upgrades to sterilisation facilities at hospitals such as Millicent’s and the LCLHN regional board has queried where the funding to meet these costs will be sourced.


Member for MacKillop Nick McBride asked a question relating to health services of Health Minister Chris Picton in the House of Assembly last week.


In reply, Minister Picton said $250,000 had been earmarked in the 2023/24 State Budget for a broader regional clinical services plan across the entire Limestone Coast.


“So, we will be doing that work, working with the community, working with clinicians to identify that plan,”Minister Picton said.


“That will be happening through the course of this year.


“I expect that it will probably be finalised sometime next year but if it can be completed this year then that will be good.


“I look forward to seeing the results of that because that will help to guide both decisions of the State Government, the Department for Health and Wellbeing, and also importantly the LCLHN in our devolved governance model for health services.”


The minister also said an appropriate medical workforce was required in the regional areas of South Australia.


“I think we have the opportunity on a number of fronts to really make some positive inroads,” he said.


“One is that Flinders University has been successful in getting one of the new regional medical schools for Australia that will be established here in South Australia.


“Students will be based in regional areas receiving all of their tuition, not just a year or six months of it but the entirety of their medical training for the first time, which is really positive.


“In fact, it also includes an additional 20 medical places coming to the State Government as part of that arrangement from the Commonwealth Government.”

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