PSA Presents to SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging Select Committee

06 March 2019

PSA Assistant General Secretary presented an oral submission on behalf of members yesterday to the Select Committee of the Legislative Council on matters relating to SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging.

The Assistant General Secretary told the committee her oral submission will be supported by a further written submission with direct input from members.

In her opening submission, the Assistant General Secretary stated “...the unfortunate side of the need for such a committee as this, that is, the Government’s threat to privatise these two essential parts of the South Australian public health system. For a government to go down this path would be a disgrace and a disservice to all South Australians and their right to accessing the best care in an equitable fashion.”

Ms Brown further told the Committee “the proposed cuts to SA Pathology and Medical Imaging are significant and will affect the quality of services to the public, public health outcomes, particularly the outcomes for people with mental health issues, Aboriginal people and older South Australians. These proposed cuts fly in the face of the role of Government in ensuring the health of the community. They are a false economy because the provision of diagnostic testing and targeted treatment leads to a reduction in health costs over time because it reduces the need for more expensive procedures at a later time.

PSA members are deeply concerned about the prospects of their services being privatised. They are fearful for loss of integrity of the public pathology and imaging services, and they fear for their jobs.

The policy and funding environment for pathology and imaging should focus on how to ensure the services maximise value, rather than minimise costs.”

The Assistant General Secretary continued to highlight key issues with the prospect of privatisation, including the risk to the research community and the profound impact on training any such privatisation would have.

The Select Committee members asked several questions about the impact of cuts and privatisation on members and the work you do.

Earlier in the day the committee asked SA Health representatives which specific hospitals and services were used to support the following statement in the 2018 State Budget: “South Australia delivers services for around 30 per cent higher net cost when compared to equivalent hospitals interstate”. SA Health was unable to answer that question.

The PSA strongly opposes privatisations and the reduction of services.

More information about how you can contribute to the PSA’s written submission will soon be provided.