Noarlunga was one of the hospitals to have its services limited as part of the State Government’s Transforming Health policy.
While an initial proposal to close the emergency department was defeated after internal Labor opposition, the hospital did lose a medical ward. Emergency patients who need acute care are now stabilised at Noarlunga before being sent to Flinders Medical Centre. The hospital did get a multi-million-dollar upgrade to improve its day surgery capacity.
Shadow health minister Stephen Wade said today that a Liberal Government would establish a new 12-bed acute medical ward at Noarlunga, with the capacity to expand to 15 beds in response to demand.
The period in which patients can stay would also be increased from the current 24 hours to three days.
“Once again general patients will be able to be admitted to Noarlunga Hospital,” Wade said in a statement.
“Extending the period of admission at Noarlunga to three days will allow a broader range of patients to access procedures currently available at the hospital and enable clinicians to treat more of the people who present to its emergency department”.
Liberal leader Steven Marshall said the moves would cost $13 million over four years.
He said the Liberals were in favour of decentralised hospital services, in contrast to Labor’s push to consolidate services.
The Liberals also promised to require the Southern Area Local Health Network board to reassess the range of services available in the area, with the aim of increasing access to “low and medium complex health services”.
“This could include cataract surgery, palliative care and more colonoscopies at the Noarlunga site,” Wade said.
In addition, the Liberals would increase services to women and children and assess the feasibility of basing a community midwifery service at Noarlunga.
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