Home' Yorke Peninsula Country Times : March 15, 2017 Contents 2 Yorke Peninsula Country Times Wednesday, March 15, 2017
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Senior Journalist SYP
Public meeting calls
A PUBLIC meeting would provide a chance
for the many people affected by the
impending cuts to surgical services at
Yorketown Hospital to truly be heard.
Numerous residents have asked Member
for Goyder Steven Griffiths about the
possibility of such a meeting, and he has
expressed support. Many envisage it being
similar to the massive and influential meeting
led by Mr Griffiths which helped save
Yorketown Hospital almost nine years ago.
About 700 people filled the Yorketown
Town Hall to protest changes which could
have sunk the hospital in late June 2008.
Only a fortnight later the YP Country
Times announced the hospital was safe, and
would no longer be downgraded.
Could the same happen again?
Maybe. But people will have to become
highly organised and get plans into motion
as soon as possible.
These services are to be removed from
Yorketown and relocated to Wallaroo in
little more than a fortnight. Although the
state government has backed down on
hospital changes within two weeks before,
this time around it may be too late to stop
the change. That is, at least initially.
But perhaps the public outcry could
persuade those in charge to allocate some
funding to Yorketown Hospital so these
surgeries could quickly return to southern
Yorke Peninsula. That would make the
move to Wallaroo only temporary, causing
minimal inconvenience for our bottom-end
residents and visitors.
Yorketown GP Dr George Kokar is
willing to continue offering anaesthetics for
as long as he can, giving SA Health time to
find a replacement for when he retires.
Surely someone will be willing to move into
the area and offer anaesthetic services so
these surgeries can again be performed. Of
course, SA Health would have to start
looking sooner rather than later.
Everyone who has expressed their concerns
about the removal of these services is making
an impact, including through the ongoing
stream of letters to the editor in this paper.
Time is running out for someone to take
the protest to another level.
Will that next step be taken? And who
will lead the charge?
Nick Perry, Senior Journalist
OH dear, the thought of the wonderful
Yorketown Hospital ceasing most operations
seems to have come as a bit of a shock to people
living at the bottom end as they contemplate the
ramifications of this decision.
heard a whisper of this, so this may be why
apparently hardly anyone had registered a
One thing that has occurred to me is the
southern Yorke Peninsula has a high proportion
of older people, so what about the affect this
closure will have on the families and friends of
Visits from loved ones contribute significantly
to a patient’s sense of wellbeing, and can be vital
even for such mundane things as bringing those
forgotten items — spare glasses, teeth, clean
nightie, book, et cetera.
The YP Community Transport bus takes hours
and does not cover the whole area. Using one’s
own car will be expensive. I really do believe the
loss of a local hospital will have a negative effect
on any future population. YP is currently a
popular retirement area, which helps maintain
the prosperity of our community. After all, would
you choose retire to an area where the nearest
hospital is two or three hours away? What affect
will this have on property values?
Hospital deja vu
IT was with a terrible feeling of deja vu I read the
front-page headlines of last week’s YP Country
Times, regarding the closure of surgical services
at Yorketown Hospital on April 1.
All I could think was, “Oh no, not again!”
And just like last time (2008) the government
has tried to sneak it in without anyone finding out.
The government won’t be happy until they’ve
herded us all back to the city to live – it’s either
that or live here with dwindling healthcare and
long trips on terrible roads for medical treatment.
The care and treatment relatives, friends and I
have received at the hospital has always been
excellent and the fact top specialists are still more
than willing to come here to consult and operate
shows our hospital is safe and usable.
Are they really serious about this taking place
from April 1? I personally don’t think they’ve
chosen this date by accident – they are hellbent
on making April fools out of us!
Ode to country
hospitals pt II
Dear Mr Weatherill, Premier of our state
I’m appealing to you, before it’s too late
Show that you care about the sick and the frail
The terminally ill and the blind needing Braille
Please leave us our hospital, leave things alone
It’s not our fault that your budget is blown!
We’re shown no respect, we’re not given a say
Do you think we don’t care? Really, Mr Jay?
There’s no good news now for us country folk
You pretend that you care, but that’s just a joke
We’re already drowning in a sea of high prices
And you add to our woes with a hospital crisis!
This medical centre is the pride of our town,
Very nice and modern, far and wide it’s renowned
You’ll get rid of our hospital, doctors and nurses
At a time when fuel costs are emptying our purses
The old and the sick will have to drive to the city
They won’t survive the trip? Now ain’t that a pity!
This government’s the enemy of every small town
They don’t look upon us as a jewel in their crown
So come on everybody, let’s speak with one voice
These pollies of ours aren’t giving us a choice
They’ll leave us with nothing, no town of our own
So come next election, let’s take ’em all down!
June 2008 (and rewritten March 2017)
Jennifer Batt, Yorketown
Protest to the minister
AS a senior citizen of our community residing at
Marion Bay, the southern end of Yorke Peninsula,
I am appalled about the proposed reduction of
services proposed by SA Health to the Yorketown
Hospital, which is my local hospital.
I use the services of the hospital and medical
practitioners on a frequent basis and I support the
recent comments on this issue by Dr George Kokar.
This is not an episode of Yes Minister, where at
the end of the 30-minute episode we can have a
laugh and the effect goes away.
This reduction in surgical services at the
Yorketown Hospital is going to have an adverse
effect on the medical services provided to the
community by our local medical professionals.
We as a community will either have to travel to
Wallaroo, Port Augusta or Adelaide just to have a
scan and further treatment if needed.
As a member of our local community I strongly
urge everybody affected to protest to the Minister
for Health Jack Snelling about the ridiculous
proposed changes to our medical services.
Ken Vickery JP, Marion Bay
z HUNGRY... Elsie Riley, of Warooka, submitted this photo taken by her
grandson Simon Gibb. “How the snail managed to get up on the table for the cat
biscuits is anyone’s guess,” she said. If you have an interesting or unusual photo
to share with YP Country Times readers, email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE details of the recent decision by Country
Health SA to close the operating theatre at
Yorketown Hospital on April 1 have been
exposed as grossly flawed.
Smoke and mirrors, and dodgy figures
comparing Yorketown and Wallaroo, show the
determination of Country Health SA to justify
With this proposal, of course it will be even
more difficult to attract quality, multi-skilled
doctors to serve this district in the future.
But we are not at that stage, yet. Our doctors
and staff at Yorketown Hospital are exceptional.
We should be taking a positive stand.
Country Health SA should free up money
held for Yorketown Hospital, and complete the
necessary upgrades to the operating theatre.
More surgical procedures should be offered.
For instance, the waiting time at Wallaroo for
cataract surgery is up to 12 months.
With the escalating cost of health insurance,
and many people becoming unable to afford
cover, demand on public hospitals will surely
increase. Yorketown Hospital should be
included in all aspects of ensuring the future
wellbeing of our district. People decide to live on
southern Yorke Peninsula based on the
availability of hospital services at Yorketown.
I was bemused when YP Health Advisory
Committee presiding member Rod Thomas
expressed “our ageing population being
attributed to the decision to cease surgeries at
Yorketown Hospital”. Therefore, our ageing
population must travel long distances for
surgical procedures, and even be separated from
their spouses for the duration of hospital stay. It
is always the most vulnerable who pay, the old
and the very young, with decisions such as this.
Decisions are made at all levels of governance,
and imposed on the population. The resulting
sense of powerlessness is deeply destructive to
the community. I urge fellow citizens of
southern YP to demand a Country Health SA
ensures full services at Yorketown Hospital are
maintained, and expanded upon.
Lesley May, Yorketown
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