SA Pathology and SA Medical Imaging

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (12:36): I rise to support the motion as amended by the Minister for Energy and Mining. Everything that needs to be said from the government side has been said, but I just have a few comments in regard to the hypocrisy of the people on the other side. It was those people, when they were in government, who commissioned reports and commissioned the privatisation of medical services throughout South Australia.

Not only that, there is what they did in regard to the Daw Park Repatriation General Hospital. When in government, the Labor Party said, 'We will never, ever sell off the Repatriation General Hospital.' Guess what? What happened to 'never, ever'? That is exactly what they did.

Mrs Power: Shame!

Mr PEDERICK: It is exactly what they did, and it is shameful, as the member for Elder rightfully exclaims. It is shameful, and it is why we had good people out here on the steps for well over 100 nights campaigning for services at the Repatriation General Hospital to be kept. Thankfully, under the Marshall Liberal government and the guidance of minister Wade from the other place, we are setting up a whole new health precinct there.

In regard to the discussion around medical imaging, you would think fire and brimstone were going to fall on us if this were privatised across the state. Yes, there is a discussion from this side, just as there was on the other side under former minister Snelling. The difference with what is happening on this side of the chamber under a Liberal government is that we are actually talking to clinicians about what to do, unlike Labor did when they built a $2.2 billion lemon: the new Royal Adelaide Hospital. Millions and millions of dollars of work was needed to repair the hospital long before it was opened because of poor planning decisions, putting rooms in the wrong places, putting doors the wrong way around, putting light switches behind doors so you could not get to them when you opened the door and fire services having to be replaced.

There is a litany of problems with that build, but what do the Labor Party care? As long as they are spending taxpayer money, they do not care two hoots. They hate success, but they also do not care two hoots about taxpayer money. That is why, since coming into government 12 months ago—and the state of South Australia thanks us, as they showed in the polls the other day—we have had to inject an extra $900 million into health. The budget is sitting at $6 billion already and it takes up 30 per cent of the state budget. We have had to pump in hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars to fix that up.

As the member for Frome indicated, we are looking at medical imaging at Port Pirie and we are looking at a tender process to ensure services deliver value for the taxpayer. Yes, it did begin under the former Labor government and, as I indicated, the option of a full service medical imaging model delivered by a private provider is being considered. Reporting services at sites are already provided privately, as is the case in another 14 sites across Country Health SA. The proposed model would provide improved access to medical imaging diagnostics, particularly after hours, for Murray Bridge and Port Pirie. This is what happens when you consult with staff: opportunities for current staff will be explored with the successful private provider.

I am really excited about what could happen in Murray Bridge where, after neglect of that hospital by Labor, we have managed to secure a $7 million full emergency department upgrade. The option for the medical imaging could turn into a seven days per week option, which would provide far better services for my constituents not just in Murray Bridge but across the Murraylands.

In winding up, I am not going to listen to those hypocrites on the other side. They talk about privatisation when they gave away the forests for $650 million. Most commentators would say they were worth $1 billion.

Mrs Power: Shame.

Mr PEDERICK: It is a shame. They were selling the Repat, they sold the Lands Titles Office and they sold the Motor Accident Commission (MAC). How much more? Do not ever lecture us about privatisations, and do not ever lecture us about hypocrisy, because when I look over at the other side I look at the member for Light and other members and see hypocrisy all over the other side.

Ms Bedford interjecting:

Mr PEDERICK: With those few words, I support the amended motion—I love the Independents, for the record—and I will not listen to the hypocrisy of the other side.

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