House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Statements by Members

Royal Adelaide Hospital

1:44 pm

Photo of Tony ZappiaTony Zappia (Makin, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At a time when obesity is increasingly becoming a serious national health issue, with over two-thirds of adult Australians being obese or overweight, the South Australian Marshall Liberal government has closed the obesity clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, leaving people who had been waiting years for an appointment stranded. Without warning, people had their scheduled appointments cancelled, some not for the first time but after previous cancellations. Just as frustrating, they have not even been provided with any advice about when the obesity clinic will be reopened or what alternative services are available to them. For morbidly obese people, medical help is critical and specialised care such as that provided by the clinic is needed. That is why there is such a long waiting time for services at the clinic. But rather than improving the service, the Marshall government closed it down, using, as I understand it, COVID-19 as the excuse for doing so.

I've written to the South Australian health minister about this matter. I now call on the Marshall government to not turn its back on people with life-threatening obesity but to make available the urgent medical services they need and to reinstate the obesity clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital or, at the very least, reinstate the services at another location.