Independent investigation needed for Berri Hospital

Staffing levels, quality of care in the emergency department and funding at the Berri Hospital must be formally investigated to ensure patients are not at risk, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

Staffing levels, quality of care in the emergency department and funding at the Berri Hospital must be formally investigated to ensure patients are not at risk, Member for Chaffey Tim Whetstone said today.

Mr Whetstone said a growing litany of problems at the hospital should be independently investigated.

“Country Health SA and the Minister can’t be trusted to tell the true story about what’s going on at the Berri Hospital,” he said. “We need an independent panel of health professionals and local community members appointed to conduct an open and transparent investigation.

“People who have been patients at the hospital have raised concerns about the quality of care, particularly at the emergency department where patients have been sent home with serious injuries or conditions that required treatment.

“There are now reports that nurse staffing levels are not meeting minimum requirements and that nurses are being asked to work extremely long hours, which raises concerns about fatigue, patient care and overworked nurses possibly resigning.”

Mr Whetstone said the Weatherill Labor Government had more questions to answer about the Berri Hospital.

“There is as yet no satisfactory explanation for why Labor has slashed $5 million from the redevelopment of the hospital in the State Budget, or answers about what facilities or services will be lost as a result of this funding cut.

“There is no satisfactory explanation for why patients attending the emergency department at the Berri Hospital are being charged up to $60 while people attending emergency departments at Adelaide hospitals do so for free.

“Minister Hill and Country Health SA are in denial about Berri Hospital and are putting patient care and nurses’ jobs at risk.”

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