Health petition in the home stretch

22 Sep 2023

Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP is pleased to advise the health petition he launched late last year is now nearing its target of 10,000 signatures – the number it needs to formally trigger Parliamentary action.

“We have just 668 signatures to go and it is hoped that during the Yorke Peninsula Field Days a few more petition sheets can be filled to edge us over the line”, Mr Ellis said.

“It has been a mammoth task and thanks to the huge contribution by community members and business owners helping to collate signatures all over the electorate, I am confident we will reach the requirement of 10,000 signatures that is needed by law to force referral to Parliament’s Legislative Review Committee to investigate the actions sought on the petition.

“This Parliamentary committee then must report back to both Houses of Parliament and the responsible Minister in each House must table a response and make a statement about what action is to be taken to address the petition.

“Improvements to our local health services and systems are urgently needed and ongoing impacts of doctor shortages must be addressed, hence resorting to this formal petition route”, Mr Ellis said.

The health petition wording features five specific requests:

  • The guaranteeing of the equitable distribution of General Practitioner doctors across South Australia to ensure rural citizens have timely and appropriate access to primary health care;
  • That funding provision for rural health services and public hospitals be determined by size and needs of population catchment service area and not by historical activity statistics as is the case currently;
  • The appointment of a Minister for Regional Health to ensure that reginal health is appropriately represented at the Cabinet table;
  • The urgent elevated reclassification of Wallaroo Hospital to a level befitting its status as the major hospital for the Narungga electorate servicing the largest constituent catchment area in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network; and
  • “Port Pirie be reclassified out of Yorke and Northern Local Health Network into Flinders and Upper North LHN for improved resource allocation for all hospitals within the electorate of Narungga.

“Anyone who hasn’t signed the petition and wishes to do so is invited to visit my stand in the Cyclone Pavilion at the YP Field Days at Paskeville next week or call into the Kadina office at 37 Graves Street”, Mr Ellis said.

“Remember you don’t have to live in the Narungga electorate, you only need to be over the age of 18 and live in South Australia to be eligible to sign”, Mr Ellis said.

“All Australian citizens are deserving of quality health care services regardless of residential postcode, and I remain motivated to securing the better resourcing of local services that are vitally needed,” Mr Ellis said.

“It is no exaggeration to say that the future of our regional townships depends on it.”