Repatriation General Hospital Daw Park

29 Nov 2018 speech

Ms FLINT (Boothby) (10:39): Today I would like to update the House on the fantastic process being made to reactivate the Repat, in my electorate of Boothby. This is an issue I've been working on and fighting for for years. The Repat, formerly the Repatriation General Hospital, cared for our returned service men and women and servicemen's widows for more than 70 years. It was also a wonderful community hospital for residents in my electorate—that is, until the former State Labor government closed the Repat hospital in 2017 as part of its disastrous and, quite frankly, disgraceful Transforming Health strategy. The federal Labor opposition, I note, stood by and let this happen. This was a terrible blow to my community and reduced access to health services for
residents in southern Adelaide and, in particular, reduced access to vital therapy and mental health services for our veterans. Together with my state colleagues Sam Duluk MP, Carolyn Power MP, Health Minister Stephen Wade and Premier Steven Marshall and our community, I have fought to see health services returned to the precinct, including the hydrotherapy pool, which reopened in May this year.

Not too long ago, I updated the House on community consultation that was underway to hear directly from my community and clinicians about the services they want to see return to the site. Last month the South Australian Liberal Government released the results of this community consultation, and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each and every local resident and our wonderful clinicians and health professionals who took the time to have their say about the future of this very important precinct. I would especially like to acknowledge Professor Warren Jones for his tireless work to see services returned to the Repat.

The report released by the South Australian Government has identified four key priority areas, being mental health, day surgery, transitional care, and rehabilitation for brain and spinal injuries, as the services most needed in our community. At the same time, the Minister for Health, Stephen Wade, announced that 20 beds will reopen at the Repat by the end of this year, adding to the 20 beds already open to support our community. This will help take some pressure off our health system, which has been struggling to meet demand as a result of the devastating actions taken by the former State Labor Government under the banner of Transforming Health.

The services that are being activated at the Repat are critical to support the senior Australians in my community and our veterans community. The Repat is a truly iconic site that not only provided health services to my community but also maintained the heritage buildings, memorial gardens and chapel that have very significant sentimental value to so many people in our local area, particularly our Vietnam veterans. That's why I will continue to work closely with my State and Federal colleagues to do all I can to fight for the very best reactivated Repat hospital that I can deliver for my community.