Legislative Council: Thursday, July 07, 2022



Select Committee on Health Services in South Australia

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. C. Bonaros:

1. That a select committee of the Legislative Council be established to inquire into and report on health services in South Australia, with particular reference to—

(a) the opportunities to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health services, including through an increased focus on preventative health and primary health care;

(b) the South Australian experience around health reform in the state, specifically Transforming Health, EPAS, the reactivation of the Daw Park Repatriation Hospital and other related projects and or programs;

(c) the federal government’s funding of state government services and the linking of other federally funded services in South Australia, such as Medicare-funded GP services, and Adelaide Primary Health Network and Country Primary Health Network; and

(d) any related matters.

2. That the minutes of evidence presented to the select committee of the Fifty-Fourth Parliament on health services in South Australia tabled in the council on 26 October 2021 be referred to the select committee.

3. That this council permits the select committee to authorise the disclosure or publication, as it sees fit, of any evidence or documents presented to the committee prior to such evidence being presented to the council.

(Continued from 1 June 2022.)

The Hon. E.S. BOURKE (20:23): I rise very briefly to give the government's support in re-establishing the select committee into health services in South Australia. As a previous member of the committee in the former government, I have seen the power of this committee and the evidence it was able to bring to light, particularly through witnesses who appeared from the Women's and Children's Hospital, including parents, families and friends.

It is important that we have a strong health system. I will not go through the outcomes of that committee tonight and what it enabled us to develop as a policy, because we have heard many times about our policies through the Labor Party as well as in our government announcements. I thank the honourable member for bringing this back to the chamber. We support the re-establishment of this committee.

The Hon. N.J. CENTOFANTI (Leader of the Opposition) (20:24): I rise to indicate that the opposition will once again be supporting the establishment of this committee. The Hon. Connie Bonaros established this committee with the support of all members in this chamber on 29 November 2018. I was fortunate to sit on this committee as a bright new member of parliament from April 2020 with yourself for most of that period, Mr President, and therefore can attest to the excellent work that this committee does.

We handed down an interim report prior to the last state election, which was tabled in this chamber on 26 October 2021. Over its period of existence, the health services select committee has provided the Legislative Council with the ability to gain a deeper understanding and insight into the government's policies and decisions within the health and wellbeing portfolio. We have heard from many individuals and stakeholder groups on a variety of issues relating to health in our state, and this committee has importantly provided these people with an avenue to share their experiences and concerns with our health system.

Given the Malinauskas Labor government's focus on health at the 2022 state election and the importance of the health portfolio to the state, the Liberal opposition thinks it is critical that this committee continues to do its good work, ably chaired by the Hon. Connie Bonaros. We look forward to the committee's contributions.

The Hon. C. BONAROS (20:25): Can I thank the chamber for its support for the continuation of this committee and the reflections from both the Hon. Ms Bourke and the Hon. Ms Centofanti in terms of the invaluable role it has provided. I am not sure I make the best chair of any committee, to be frank, but I think it has provided all of us with an insight that we would not have had otherwise when it comes to the health crisis in this jurisdiction. I look forward to its continuation.

Motion carried.

The Hon. C. BONAROS (20:27): I move:

That the select committee consist of the Hon. Russell Wortley, the Hon. Tung Ngo, the Hon. Stephen Wade, the Hon. Michelle Lensink and the mover.

Motion carried.

The Hon. C. BONAROS: I move:

That the select committee have power to send for persons, papers and records, to adjourn from place to place and to report on 30 November 2022.

Motion carried.