The South Australian Government’s $70,000 funding commitment to keep Keith and District Hospital’s doors open in the short term is welcomed – but more needs to be done to ensure its long-term future, Centre Alliance warned today.
Centre Alliance candidate for Barker, Kelly Gladigau, said today she was delighted “common sense” has prevailed and that the SA Government has agreed to match Tatiara Council’s $70,000 contribution for the hospital.
Kelly said the $140,000 total will be enough to keep the hospital operating until a feasibility study on its future is completed – which is expected before 30 June 2019.
“I am delighted the State Government has agreed to partner with the local council to provide funding that guarantees the Keith and District Hospital’s short-term future – but so much more needs to be done,” Kelly said.
“Having a young family that lives in the region, and also being a registered nurse, I have always been a strong advocate for the Keith Hospital and having a well-resourced regional health system,” she said.
“A well-managed and well-funded regional hospital is crucial in any community. Its impacts are felt throughout the region.
“But typically, because this in an issue impacting regional SA – in a Federal seat currently held by a Liberal MP in a Liberal Government who hasn’t made a whimper about it – it has been a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
“A cynic might question why the State Government’s funding commitment has been made in the middle of a Federal election, but I am just thankful the hospital’s short-term future has been ensured.
“The next major hurdle that needs to be cleared is securing further money to guarantee the hospital’s viability for the long term.
“If I am able the win the seat over Liberal MP Tony Pasin at next month’s Federal election, securing the long-term future of the hospital will be one of my paramount priorities, along with my fellow Centre Alliance colleagues in the Federal Senate as well as my SA-BEST colleagues in State Parliament.
“A vote for Centre Alliance is a vote for the best interests of all South Australians – not like our competitors who are forced to bow to their eastern states powerbrokers.”