Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

South Australian Amputee Limb Scheme (SAALS)

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the minister representing the Minister for Disabilities questions regarding the provision of prosthetic limbs to new amputees, specifically the South Australian Amputee Limb Scheme (SAALS).

Leave granted.

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: The SAALS budget is just over $2 million per annum to provide prosthetic services to the amputee population in South Australia. Clearly, this is an area that needs to receive increased funding and not cuts to services. SAALS will remain the primary funding body for prosthetic services for amputees until the National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully rolled out nationally, I understand, which, with the current rate of registration, may still be a number of years away. I understand that due to a budget overrun, currently the following demand management guidelines are operating:

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; and

No unmet need list will be kept at DES.

My questions to the minister are:

1. Will the minister immediately assist with budget, including topping it up if necessary, so that the prosthetic limb budget can continue to ensure amputee patients can continue to live as active members of our 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 South Australia?

4. Can the minister give an assurance to newly amputated people that they will be provided with prostheses?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): As always, I am thankful to the Hon. Ms Vincent for her ongoing advocacy and passion towards this important area of public policy. I hope the honourable member understands that, this not being my portfolio area and instead belonging to the responsibilities of a member in the other house, I am more than happy to take that question on notice and hopefully she will be able to get you a response back as soon as possible.