GAWLER Hospital could be in line to receive a significant portion of the State Labor Government’s $140 million pre-election commitment to country health investment, according to Health Minister Peter Malinauskas.
Labor announced recently, if re-elected, it would commit the funding – to be delivered over the next decade – to upgrade infrastructure in South Australia’s country hospitals and aged care facilities.
Gawler Hospital would benefit under the plan, with its water quality and theatres’ air-conditioning set to be improved.
However, after touring the local hospital last Wednesday, Mr Malinauskas said these were not the only upgrades on the way.
“It’s well-known within SA Health that the Gawler Hospital has been punching above its weight for some time, particularly in terms of the A and E (accident and emergency),” he said.
“The State Government has announced a $140 million investment into country health, and clearly Gawler is in line to be a recipient of many of those funds (for) capital upgrades here at Gawler Hospital.
“I am advised there will be other things beyond the air-conditioning, but that is an immediate need that we want to be able to address.
“(Today is about) being able to engage with the HAC (Health Advisory Committee) to get a sense of what the issues are, and how we should be prioritising that spend.”
In addition to the Gawler investment, Labor has pledged to double the size of the Lyell McEwin Hospital’s emergency department.
“The investment that we are making at Lyell Mac is actually quite important for Gawler,” Mr Malinauskas said.
“We have seen a number of patients being dealt with at the Gawler Hospital who would otherwise be dealt with at the Lyell Mac, had it not been for capacity constraints.”
Member for Light Tony Piccolo said he was very grateful that the Minister had made the trip to Gawler, and could see the facilities first-hand.
He said it was just one way that the State Labor Government was proving that health is a priority.