Legislative Council: Thursday, February 09, 2023


Regional Health Services

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS (15:17): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before addressing a question without notice to the Minister for Regional Development on the topic of regional health services.

Leave granted.

The Hon. R.A. SIMMS: It was reported yesterday that SA Pathology was restructuring, with 30 nurses being moved to other parts of the healthcare system. Eight of those nurses are from regional areas. This morning, on ABC radio, Elizabeth Dabars from the Nursing and Midwifery Federation said, and I quote:

This proposal looks to completely eliminate a nursing presence out in country South Australia.

'Completely eliminate', Mr President. My question to the minister, therefore, is:

1. Does the minister believe that having no SA Pathology nurses in regional communities is acceptable?

2. What action is she taking to ensure that this calamity is averted?

The Hon. C.M. SCRIVEN (Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, Minister for Forest Industries) (15:18): I thank the honourable member for his question. I am happy to check, but I think the item to which he is referring is a consultation paper rather than a decision of the government. However, health, of course, is looked after by my colleague in the other place so I am more than happy to refer that direct question to him and bring back a response for the honourable member.

I am in frequent discussions with my colleagues in the other place about the various portfolio areas that they have responsibility for but which, of course, have direct impacts on regional South Australia. Some of the feedback that I have had in my many visits around the state have been positive in terms of the election commitments that were made by the Malinauskas Labor government, which we are in the process of fulfilling in terms of giving health a very high priority. In terms of this particular matter, I am happy to bring back an answer.