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Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Sick and waiting

Feeling unwell and stuck waiting for hours at Naracoorte Health Service (public hospital)? It’s a frustrating reality for many, and the situation doesn’t improve when waiting for an ambulance transfer. Are these lengthy waits a symptom of a struggling regional health system?

Despite SA Health’s Limestone Coast Local Health Network (LCLHN) stating that wait times fall within standard response time ranges for all triage levels, concerns persist. Patients are voicing dissatisfaction with prolonged waiting times, eroding confidence in regional healthcare.

Reports indicate outpatient wait times at Naracoorte Hospital have ballooned to 3-4 hours on certain days, with some elderly patients enduring extended waits for ambulance transfers to Mount Gambier Hospital due to availability issues.

But are the voices of taxpayers being heard? What’s being done about the strain on our health system, as discussed by politicians and bureaucrats?

In response to queries, LCLHN’s CEO Emma Poland acknowledged room for improvement and highlighted challenges in attracting doctors to regional areas. SA Health is offering incentives of up to $15,000 to entice healthcare workers to rural South Australia. Additionally, a $1 million commitment has been made for a new Clinical Services and Infrastructure Plan to enhance Naracoorte’s healthcare services.

Infrastructure upgrades worth $8 million at Naracoorte Health Service are underway to modernize facilities, with a focus on the emergency department, consulting rooms, and critical care facilities. Response times for emergency presentations are closely monitored, with lower triage levels supported by the South Australian Virtual Emergency Services program.

Specialist services from Adelaide and Mount Gambier complement Naracoorte Hospital’s offerings, which include public beds, operating theatres, specialist consulting rooms, and aged care units.

Despite challenges, Naracoorte Hospital is striving to improve, with a commitment to providing essential healthcare services to the community.

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