Media Releases

Government Cold Cuts to Amputee Services

Dignity for Disability MLC, Kelly Vincent is shocked to discover heartless cuts to services for new amputees.

“The South Australian Amputee Limb Scheme (SAALS) operates with an annual budget of $2 million to provide prosthetic services to amputees.  With an increase in amputations, particularly as a result of diabetes, this is an area that should receive more funding  – not cuts to such vital services.

“I have been advised that, due to a budget over-run, restrictions to services are in operation, these are:

  • Primary shower prostheses are not being supplied;
  • Primary medical activity (recreational) prostheses will not be supplied;
  • Primary general purpose prostheses will only be supplied within available budget;
  • Once the allocated budget for the year has been reached, requests will be declined;
  • No unmet need list will be kept at Disability Equipment Service (DES).

“I have asked the following questions in parliament today:

  1. Will the Minister immediately top up the prosthetic limb budget to ensure amputee patients can continue as active members of the community?
  2. Will the Minister liaise with SA Health about the implications of budgetary restraint on prosthetic services to the “Be Active” campaign and Amputee Awareness Week?
  3. Will Prosthetist staffing levels be maintained throughout SA?
  4. Can the Minister give an assurance to newly amputated patients that they will be provided with prostheses?

“I am shocked at this cold-hearted cut to services, and cannot imagine the psychological as well as physical impact this will have on amputees.

“This government has to understand that amputee services must continue to be delivered by the state during the roll out of the NDIS,” said Ms Vincent.