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More staff, beds and funding top election wish list

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More mental health beds and Women’s and Children’s Hospital staff have topped the SA Salaried Medical Officers Association’s election wish list.

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SASMOA has also called on the next State Government to rectify a $426 million funding shortfall in public and community health service spending.

The demands are part of the association’s state election platform, released today, in which they will call for additional staff, hospital beds and government funding ahead of the March 19 state election.

SASMOA president Laura Willington said public hospitals were faced with ramping and increasing emergency department admissions on a daily basis.

Wilington said the state’s mental health network was short about 200 beds. At the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the paediatric unit was short about 50 medical staff.

She said these were staff providing “a basic, safe service, comparable with other similar services interstate, while maintaining staff wellbeing”.

“Put simply, there are not enough beds and not enough staff funded under the ‘business as usual’ model,” Willington said.

“This leads to harm for patients and the wider community, and in turn leads to fatigue and burnout in the medical workforce.

“Closing the recurrent funding gap will also help close the credibility gap between ‘world-class rhetoric’ and ‘world-class reality’ in relation to our state’s health system.”

SASMOA also want frontline doctors in the public health system to have 10-hour breaks between shifts.

They pointed to a Productivity Commission report released this month showing SA was behind the national average in terms of public health spending.

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