peninsula heBudget 2011: Lincoln hospital gets $39.2 million for operating theatre, but theres not enough staff

Eyre Peninsula health professionals are welcoming the $39.2 million in Federal Government funding to go to the Port Lincoln Hospital from the 2011 Budget, but say that more surgeonpeninsula healths are needed in the Eyre Peninsula city.

Theyre pretty much almost exactly what our ten year strategy said. When we went to the community over the couple of years and then developed a ten year plan for the service in conjunction with country Health SA, those were the things that the community identified as things we were needing.

As r as a time frame goes for the Port Lincoln Hospital redevelopment beginning, Mr Green says he cant say for sure.

peninsula heBudget 2011: Lincoln hospital gets $39.2 million for operating theatre, but theres not enough staff,Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer Wayne Swan, Minister for Health and Ageing Nicola Roxon and Minister for Mental Health and Ageing Mark Butler joined forces for the funding announcement on Monday morning.

Our long term concern will be the state funded ongoing, recurrent funding for staffing those cilities, she says.

The Health Minister is further quoted, stating that the services that the money will help to provide, will lead to improved health care.

Look I dont know, weve done some homework, the ten year strategy has been in place, weve now got the announcement for the funds and usually these things have a very tight time frame after that, so were going to be very busy, he finished.

Making it easier for South Australians to see and contact a doctor closer to home is a key objective of national health reform…, she is quoted as saying.

Minister Roxon says in the announcement, that the $39.2 million to be spent on the Port Lincoln hospital is an investment.

I think its important to say that its early days yet, weve done some planning and some thinking about this, but the detailed costing and just where these enhancements to the building are going to go really need to be worked out, but its the services that we want to talk about rather than just the bricks and mortar…

We need to have the funding to be able to invite the specialists to come, and the difficulty is sometimes we perceive the need for the service but the funding isnt there. And we may have a specialist who is interested in providing the service but without the funding we cant actually follow through with it, she says.

We are providing Port Lincoln with the resources they need for more beds and better care, she says.

Latest stories from ABC West Coast SA. Including audio, photo, video, recipes and reviews across the region.

That term is used to describe a doctor who may be studying to be a GP with surgical, obstetric or anaesthetic skills but they are also using it to describe a surgeon who would like to work in a rural area and provide a broad range of surgical expertise, or a General Physician who would like to work in a rural area and provide a broad range of rural expertise, she says.

What great news to wake up to, it was only two weeks ago that we had Simon Crean here just before Easter, having a look around the Hospital and I was able to host that visit and I guess support the case that we had, but I had no idea that we were going to be surprised quite so soon with this $39.2 million announcement. Its just wonderful, he says.

$39.2 million has been allocated to redevelopments and new services at the Port Lincoln Hospital, from the 2011 Federal Governments budget. ()

Doctor Baillie explained to ABC Eyre Peninsula breakst program host Deane Williams that the long term issue is actually a state issue as the South Australian government funds health professionals.

Doctor Baillie says that there are certain skills that are needed at the Port Lincoln Hospital.

In the release, Treasurer Swan says, these projects will greatly improve access to quality health care in regional and remote South Australia, while also stimulating the local economy and creating jobs.

At the present time we have enough surgeons, but we have a lot of services that we would like, such as very regular urology service, an upper limb orthopaedic service. We are about to get a new orthopaedic specialist, weve had a lapse of about four or five months without one.

Its really pleasing to see that all those ideas pretty much, it sounds like, have been picked up on and theyre going to be incorporated into the redevelopment.

To see more information on Port Lincoln Hospitals ten year plan, visit the story that we ran in Febuary this year abc.net.au/local/stories/2011/02/17/3141765.htm?site=eyre.

But from Simon Creans visit to now is two weeks, so Im very optimistic, he jokes.

Mr Green says that he was delighted to see the items that had been included in the summary of how the money will be spent.

Doctor Baillie explains that around ten years ago the staff were overjoyed to have the company of a visiting upper limb orthopaedic surgeon for 18 months, but when the funding package the specialist left.

We currently have only one gynaecologist when fifteen years ago we had three visiting. We are about to get another new gynaecologist visiting as well. There are areas in the field of surgery where it would be highly advantageous for us to have more specialists and then they would be able to use these new areas, she says.

Doctor Baillie says the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Physicians have been working on the development of the rural development pathway.

But Doctor Sue Baillie, a GP in Port Lincoln says while the money will be well spent at the cities hospital, Port Lincoln needs more surgeons and other health professionals to work in the redeveloped theatre cility.

A summary of the $39.2 million to go to the Port Lincoln Hospital outlines: a redeveloped theatre suite and same day patient unit; expanded acute care services including mental health, palliative care, rehabilitation, geriatric and general medical services; and a comprehensive integrated primary health care service at the hospital, including a public dental clinic.

We have had a long history of very good specialist services being supplied to Port Lincoln. Over the years weve had a number of specialists who have been able to come for short periods of time because weve actually only been given funding to cover their services for a very short period of time, she says.

She says that while staffing is at the mercy of the South Australian government, everyone is trying their hardest to attract health professionals into the regions but the problem is with the money.

Were just absolutely delighted to see some funds being put towards regional health in South Australia, he says.

Port Lincoln Mayor and Presiding Mempeninsula heBudget 2011: Lincoln hospital gets $39.2 million for operating theatre, but theres not enough staffber of the Port Lincoln Health Advisory Committee, Bruce Green says its brilliant news.

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