Regional Health Services

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (15:02): My question is to the Minister for Health. Can the minister inform the house how he is addressing the $150 million backlog in regional health infrastructure maintenance?

The Hon. J.J. SNELLING ( Playford—Minister for Health, Minister for the Arts, Minister for Health Industries) (15:02): It has been a great pleasure of mine to visit many of our country hospitals. I don't think I have quite visited every single regional hospital in South Australia, but I have come very, very close. Indeed, last week I had an opportunity to address the combined health advisory councils meeting. That is a meeting that we have every year where the HACs of all of regional South Australia come together, or representatives thereof, come for a meeting in Adelaide to discuss issues that confront our regional hospitals.

I have to acknowledge the enormous work that is done by our regional communities in supporting their country hospitals. I am constantly impressed by the enormous community investment, and fundraising and so on, that goes into our country hospitals. We have been very proud of the investment we have made in country hospitals. We have significantly invested in hospitals: in the new Riverland hospital, in the new Whyalla hospital, investments at the Mount Gambier hospital. These are significant investments we make.

Country Health has an annual maintenance budget, which is allocated among all our hospitals, but of course there is still more work to be done and we will keep working through those issues.

The SPEAKER: Just to make it clear, the member for Morphett's question was from the government list provided to the Speaker.