Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (14:48): My question is to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Will the minister provide additional resources to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network to improve security and protect nurses and hospital staff? With your leave, sir, and that of the house, l will explain.

Leave granted.

Mr WHETSTONE: Recent reporting has highlighted that the Riverland General Hospital has limited restraint-trained security after a series of incidents of staff being assaulted.

The Hon. C.J. PICTON (Kaurna—Minister for Health and Wellbeing) (14:48): We are providing additional funding to the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network through the excellent work of the Treasurer through the state budget in making sure that there is additional funding going to health services right across the state. Of course, if we had kept the budget that was in place for health services across the state that was in place previously, then we would be facing significant cuts that would need to be made right across the board in terms of our health services.

This is something which, under the devolved model that was put in place four years ago under the previous government, where we have hospital boards in operation, those government boards are considering. I have spoken to a number of the LHNs where they are actively considering their security arrangements. This comes after we came to government and we took action in relation to the security arrangements at Port Lincoln Hospital, where there had been a number of assaults and concerns in relation to security there. There is now security in place there.

There has also been work undertaken in relation to a review of security arrangements at that hospital that is also going to provide a guide for other local health networks in terms of implementing security arrangements in their own hospitals. This is under active consideration by the Riverland Mallee Coorong Local Health Network and also by other regional health networks around South Australia, in terms of how to get the balance right in terms of making sure that they provide that security for their staff and address security measures that may need to be put in place at a number of sites across South Australia.

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