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Knoll’s answer to a new hospital

Knoll’s answer to a new  hospital

Member for Schubert, Mr Stephan Knoll has put forward his contribution ahead of this month’s State Budget, telling Parliament if they want to save $1million then the government should invest in a new Barossa Hospital.

Mr Knoll told The Leader, he knows where the money can be found for a new facility, in the cost blow out for the Royal Adelaide Hospital project.

Mr Knoll’s comments last week were during a supply bill grievance speech, where he took MPs back to the creation of the Angaston and District Hospital in 1910 and the Tanunda War Memorial Hospital in 1953; acknowledging while the region’s population has tripled there has not been significant improvements to either hospital since.

He then shared the detailed history taken in investigating a new facility for the region, which started in 1995 when it was agreed to consolidate all acute services plus community services in a new hospital and health service at Nuriootpa.

It has been an issue continually pushed by the former Member for Schubert, Mr Ivan Venning and now, in his third week of Parliament the current member, Mr Knoll.

“The Member for Schubert’s commitment to getting a hospital for the Barossa has not waivered, has not changed,” he said.

“I stand here to continue the legacy… for the last 20 years the people of the Barossa have been waiting patiently for a new hospital facility.”

He even conceded it is an issue that has been talked about for “way too long” and is another example of regional South Australia being ignored by the State Government and asked for the delivery of a new health facility for the people of Schubert.

Mr Knoll told Parliament the region is still waiting, 11 years after former health minister, Ms Lea Stevens confirmed there was no money for a new hospital but the health service will continue to receive consideration in relation to a new health facility.

“The people of the Barossa are still waiting,” said Mr Knoll.

“They are beautiful people, a patient group of people who just want to get on with life but I am afraid their patience is starting to wear thin and so it should.”

Mr Knoll said there was a glimmer of hope with funding and release of a business case, which was followed in 2010 with support from The Barossa Council for land in Tanunda.

“(The business case) shows that there is a true economic basis for why we should have a new health facility in the Barossa,” said Mr Knoll.

“There is a potential benefit to offset the capital cost of a new hospital with the sale of the existing land from the two sites. It was estimated in 2010 that that could net $1.85 million and the proceeds could have been applied to the new facility.”

He added the risk analysis stated the Barossa Health Service will be unable to achieve its full role as a country community hospital and the cost of sustaining ageing and unsuitable health facilities in the Barossa will not be mitigated.

“I think if that is not an indictment of where the current facilities are at the moment, then I do not know what is,” said Mr Knoll.

Continuing to hear from constituents about the need for modern health facilities, Mr Knoll told The Leader he will work behind the scenes in the
hope of getting a new facility.