The suspension of surgical services at Balaklava Hospital has alarmed Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP and he has grave concerns for the future of adequate medical services in the town and its surrounding communities.
Mr Brock wrote to Health & Wellbeing Minister Stephen Wade in December last year raising his concerns, after receiving representation from Balaklava residents who were worried about ongoing cancellations of planned surgery at their local hospital.
“It is very troubling that surgery at the hospital has been suspended until at least the end of March, despite the availability and willingness of two visiting specialists – a plastic and an orthopaedic surgeon,” Mr Brock said.
“I am also concerned about the additional strain this change puts on to the Clare Hospital and its hard working and dedicated staff.”
Mr Brock said vulnerable rural communities could not afford to lose more services, particularly essential medical care and surgeries.
“With an increasingly ageing population, as well as more young families moving into regions, hospital services need to be improved rather than decreased.
“A visiting specialist has told me that on regular two-day trips to three Mid North towns he would undertake about 10 procedures and have about 50-60 consultations, which enable people to be seen by a speciaist in their communities instead of having to travel to Adelaide, with consequent economic benefit.”
Mr Brock is still awaiting a response from the Minister and is hopeful a decision will be made soon that the medical specialist service will resume at the Balaklava Hospital rather than continue to disadvantage this community.