Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

Hydrotherapy Services at the Repatriation General Hospital

The Hon. J.S. LEE: My questions are directed to the Minister for Health about the Repat Hospital:

  1. Has the minister received advice as to whether he can release the land management agreement on the Repat site as per his undertaking on 27 September?
  2. When will the minister release the land management agreement, and will the minister request that the current development plan for the area reflect the terms of the land management agreement in relation to the Repat site?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): I thank the honourable member for her question. I think I mentioned earlier that I enjoyed the opportunity of being able to visit the Repat site and have a chat to the staff that were there—

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: Did you take Annabel Digance there, who was going to save it and keep it open to the people?

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: —and have a good look around the Repat.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: She had photos in front of the door, the gate.

The PRESIDENT: Order!

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway: She was going to save it.

The PRESIDENT: I do not want to hear any comment from you while the minister is on his feet.

The Hon. D.W. Ridgway interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! Do you want an answer to your question, Hon. Ms Lee?

The Hon. J.S. LEE: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: So do I, so would the Leader of the Opposition please keep quiet in your chair while the minister answers the Hon. Ms Lee’s question. The honourable minister.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: I thank the honourable member for her question. As I was saying, I enjoyed the opportunity to get a good look around the Repat, to witness firsthand the depth of feeling that a number of staff members have towards the site and also to see the facilities and get a greater appreciation of how much an improvement the new facilities that the government has built in replacement of the Repat will serve South Australians for many years to come.

The government is committed to making sure that the Repat site is renewed in such a way that best represents the interests of that local community. There are things on the Repat site that do represent genuine value to those people in and around the community. I think a good example of that, of course, is the pool. The hydrotherapy pool located on the Repat site undoubtedly has the potential to be able to provide a bit of service to the community, notwithstanding the fact that it probably isn’t as good as the brand-new pool that has replaced it that we have built at the Flinders Medical Centre.

As part of our effort to ensure that the site is revitalised and used well, we have a contract of sale with the ACH Group, which I have spoken about previously. It is the government’s expectation that we receive a master plan from the ACH Group in due course, which we then will put out publicly. We hope that the master plan reflects our very strong expectations on behalf of government to ensure that that facility is utilised well.

In regard to the Hon. Ms Lee’s question, my advice is that the LMA is part of that contract of sale and is subject to commercial confidentiality. However, I think the key document that members of the local community are interested in more than anything else is the master plan, which will reflect how that site will be used going forward.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Supplementary: can the minister clarify future arrangements for those currently receiving hydrotherapy services at the Repat? Also, is the Repat a latex environment and, if this is the case, why is the NRAH not?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): What was that last part of the question?

The Hon. K.L. Vincent: Is the Repat a latex environment and, if so, why aren’t other hospitals?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: Is it a what environment?

The Hon. K.L. Vincent: Latex free.

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS: I am happy to receive clinical advice regarding the latex component of the honourable member’s question. Regarding the hydrotherapy pool, we have already stated clearly that we have built a brand-new facility at the Flinders Medical Centre. There is a brand-new pool that we believe can accommodate the needs of those people who are under the care of SALHN (Southern Adelaide Local Health Network), to ensure they get access to the services that are quite beneficial to their recovery through the hydrotherapy pool. Those services and those requirements can be accommodated at the new hospital that has been built at FMC.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: Further supplementary: just for the record, I asked the minister to clarify the exact arrangements, not that there is a new pool. What should those currently receiving hydro at the Repat do to ensure they get replacement services?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Health, Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse): They should follow the advice of their respective clinicians. Those people who are under the care of SA Health, those people who are existing patients who require services within SALHN, or require access to the hydrotherapy pool, will continue to do so in the prescribed format at the Flinders Medical Centre.