Fighting for our country hospitals

Country hospitals are the beating heart of our communities, and their efficiency should never be compromised, said Member for Frome Geoff Brock.

Mr Brock has called on the State Government to expedite essential repairs and upgrades to the Port Pirie Hospital

“I have submitted Freedom of Information applications to SA Health’s Port Pirie Health Service seeking access to reports, documents or correspondence relating to the condition of the Port Pirie Hospital building, in particular the accident and emergency department, the X-Ray department and the kitchen areas,” Mr Brock said.

Mr Brock has also requested documents regarding the condition of the original Port Pirie Hospital (nurses’ home) which was used for allied health professionals.
“My enquiry is for further information on the building – how many staff currently work in it and how many of its rooms have been closed off to stop them being used, due to OH&S concerns.” Port Pirie has had a hospital since 1891 and currently provides 24/7 accident and emergency services, and a comprehensive range of medical and allied health services to the community.

“While I understand that the current hospital building, which was built in the 1970s, is safe in the areas where it is being used, some of the building is in need of urgent upgrading,” Mr Brock said.

“While the building has served its community well for over 50 years it’s now time to have some money spent on it.” The documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act will provide Mr Brock with reports on the condition of the structure.

“I can then go to the Minister to seek funding for remedial work or to cost a new hospital for the future.”

Mr Brock stressed there was no danger to the public or staff who used the current hospital building, but that it was important to look at the long-term picture.

“It is important that we bring this to the government’s attention now so that plans can be made for future budgets,” he said.

“We also need to attract more specialist services to the region, and for this we need to have the best facilities possible.”

Mr Brock said It was also important that the government turned its attention to the critical shortage of general medical practitioners in regional South Australia in Port Pirie, Port Augusta, Balaklava and surrounding areas, as well as Peterborough, Jamestown and other regional locations.

“I have been communicating with the Health Minister for many months on the shortage of GPs – and I want to make it clear that while we have overall great medical facilities available, we need to look at the future direction and growth of our regions through having the best possible medical services and facilities, together with medical professionals