Liberals to review health board

A LIBERAL state government will split the Country Health SA board into at least three networks and return financial control to Health Advisory Councils (HACs).

A Liberal state government will split the Country Health SA board into at least three networks and return financial control to Health Advisory Councils (HACs).

A Liberal state government will split the Country Health SA board into at least three networks and return financial control to Health Advisory Councils (HACs).

Shadow health spokesperson Rob Lucas said if elected on Saturday the Liberals would look at splitting the current single Country Health SA board into at least three networks with boards.

"At the moment it's one big centralised bureaucracy; we want to see the decisions being taken to the regions," he said.

"During the past decade the Labor government has centralised decision making for the health system in an ever expanding bureaucracy that has limited contact with either patients or the medical staff who care for them.

"The Liberal Party recognises that such a reform will be a significant change from Labor's centralisation regime and it will be implemented gradually and after appropriate consultation with the health sector."

He said the new system would also return control to HACs for the money they fundraise for hospitals.

"Under the current arrangement HACs raise money for the benefit of the hospital and they hand that over to the hospital."

He said the specific details would be addressed in the review.

Port Lincoln HAC chair Bruce Green said he would like to see more details on the plan and would rather have seen a commitment to regional service delivery to support the expanding operations of the newly renovated Port Lincoln Hospital.

He said the HAC would not spend donation funds without approval, however it had been able to access funds when required.

Mr Lucas said the party would commit $1 million for a major initiative to tackle cardiovascular disease and in particular to address the need for cardiac rehabilitation programs.

"The Heart Foundation estimates that 70 per cent of heart attack and other eligible patients are not participating in cardiac rehabilitation programs even though they can significantly reduce the chance of having a further cardiac arrest."

It would also commission a Health and Medical Research Strategic Review outlining priorities for research funding and product development. The review would also consider proposals for the establishment of an Office for Health and Medical Research and the arguments for a fund to commercialise medical advances developed by the office.

Labor health minister Jack Snelling said the wording of the Liberals' policy was "really code for privatisation by stealth".

"That's really the only vision the Liberal Party in this state have for public hospitals," Mr Snelling said.

"We already have Health Advisory Councils in place that provide local advice."

This story Liberals to review health board first appeared on Port Lincoln Times.

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