After years of negotiations, the Keith and District Hospital will receive $3 million over two years to deliver “effective” health services.

The South Australian government also announced the hospital will receive an additional $200,000 to engage a project leader to support the development of a health care hub model.

South Australian Health Minister Stephen Wade said he was “delighted” to make the announcement.

“The Keith [Hospital] Board, the regional [Limestone Coast Local Health Network] Board, and the government worked with an external consultant to look at the issues that the Keith board faces going forward to deliver services and operate efficiently,” Mr Wade said.

He said the health care hub would be a partnership across all health delivery services.

“Primarily, the health care hub is about strengthening the provision of primary health care, alongside the aged care services of the hospital,” he said.

“So the sorts of practitioners that would be involved in that would be doctors, nurses, allied health services, for example.

“They are unlikely to be residents of Keith, but at least using the health care hub as a base to which we can strengthen the health care services in the region.”

Health Minister Stephen Wade says the funding will allow the hospital to operate efficiently. (

ABC News: Lincoln Rothall

)

Despite the Keith and District Hospital Board’s claims of negotiation delays, Mr Wade said it was “due diligence”.

“It’s worth spending the time to make sure that the plans are robust, to make sure the plans are sustainable, and I can only thank the Local Health Network Board for the work they’ve done.”

The Chair of the Keith and District Hospital Board, Warren Ingerson, said it was “marvellous news” but “a long time coming”.

“I personally have never had too much doubt that the Premier and the minister were going to support the Keith Hospital as they’ve always said they would,” he said.

“The issue has been the negotiation between SA Health and the Limestone Coast Board (LHN) to see what that actually looks like.”

A driveway leading up to a low brick building, a sign reads 'emergency evacuation area 1'
Health delivery services will work together to develop a health care hub.(

ABC South East SA: Bec Whetham

)

Mr Ingerson said there were lots of projects happening to bolster Keith’s health services.

“We’ve got the new aged care development that’s already started. That will take the aged care facility from an 18-bed facility to a 28-bed facility,” he said.

“We were also engaged in upgrading and refurbishing the nurse’s quarters, which has been long overdue.”

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He said the $3 million figure was what the board had been hoping for. 

“When I first started negotiating with the government, it was May 2019,” Mr Ingerson said.

Beyond two years

Mr Ingerson said there were still questions about the facility’s future. 

“There’s still discussions to take place over the course of the next 18 months or two years,” he said.

“Nobody at this point, including the minister and the government, has got a clear picture of what this is going to look like at the end of two years.

“We all need to work collectively together to make sure this outcome, at the end of this two year period, the hospital is in a very, very strong position to go forward.”

A man in a checked shirt leans on a farm gate
Member for MacKillop, Nick McBride, says the announcement will allow the hospital to meet the needs of the community. (

Supplied: Nick McBride

)

The funding has been welcomed by the Member for MacKillop, Nick McBride.

“Finally, the Keith Hospital has been given the funding that it’s been seeking for a number of years,” he said.

“That will allow that hospital to flourish and meet the needs of the health services of Keith and the surrounding community.

“That will put it in good stead for what lies beyond the two years.”



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By EDONS