Media Releases

nRAH has to split the spit

Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent has used question time today to ask the Minister for Health questions about SA Pathology jobs and practices at the new Royal Adelaide Hospital.

“An ageing society and increasing reliance on diagnostic testing would indicate the need for more, not less, staff to be employed in this vital public health service,” says Kelly Vincent.

“Pathology is involved in up to 70% of medical treatment decisions and 60% of Australians require pathology services at least once a year.  The Government has announced that it will cut 278 SA Pathology jobs in response to a 2014 Ernst & Young review into the state wide pathology services, said Ms Vincent.

Ms Vincent’s questions to the Minister:

  1. Was the local collection of specimens in rural/regional SA examined in the Ernst & Young report?
  2. When the New Royal Adelaide Hospital opens, will sputum samples need to be split between two sites – nRAH and Frome Road – for testing?
  3. What percentage of SA Pathology revenue has traditionally been generated by the regional pathology services?
  4. Did the Ernst and Young review reflect that private pathology services in rural/regional accident and emergency departments are bulk billed through Medicare?
  5. How many medical scientist positions will be axed and at which hospitals or laboratory sites?
  6. How many technical officer positions will be axed and at which hospitals or laboratory sites?
  7. How many employees with a declared disability will lose or have lost their jobs since 2014?
  8. Does the Minister acknowledge that with an ageing population, the need for diagnostic services, including pathology, is increasing, not reducing?

“It remains a cause of great shame that the South Australian public sector includes fewer than two percent of employees with disability.  SA Pathology has, in the past, been one area within Health where people with disabilities did find work,” concluded Ms Vincent.