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19 April 2017 | Media release

The AMA(SA) is deeply concerned following the latest resignation of a senior leader in SA Health: CAHLN Interim Chief Executive, Mr Len Richards – part of an ongoing turnover of CEOs in SA Health, particularly at the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

“It is very concerning that since April last year South Australia has lost several senior health leaders, including SA Health CE, David Swan; past CEO of CAHLN, Julia Squire; and recent interim CE, Len Richards; as well as former new RAH project director Judith Carr,” said AMA(SA) state President Dr Janice Fletcher.

“This follows the departures of previous CALHN CEO and key new RAH leader David Panter in 2015 and new RAH Program Director Andrew Nielsen, also in 2015.”

“The question has to be asked, is the root cause the job itself, the demands of SA Health, or poor recruitment processes?”

“This latest departure comes at a time when the move to the new RAH should be imminent. The new RAH project is reaching a critical phase, and the lack of consistent leadership at this time is deeply troubling.”

“There are significant issues in SA Health at the moment, including clinical service and staffing issues that will seriously impact on not just the new hospital, but the wider public health system. These issues need clear direction and corporate understanding of the complexities of health in this state. The revolving door of CEOs in CAHLN and beyond does not give us confidence that these issues will be resolved quickly.”

“We welcome Jenny Richter back into SA Health, and the AMA(SA) will seek to work with her to assist in the opening of the new RAH, but the problems that are now becoming very obvious, about which we have been warning the government for years, need to be tackled.”

“These include transparent staffing models; medical training and accreditation of clinical speciality sites; EPAS issues and the associated medical record storage and access issues; bed capacity; outpatient capacity and scheduling; and clinical research accommodation.

“All of these problems remain active with no confident resolution at hand,” Dr Fletcher stated.

“In addition, we have the recent move to propose privatisation of outpatient radiology in the new RAH – an issue the AMA(SA) raised at our last meeting with Minister Snelling – which would effectively see the removal of radiology training, and the potential loss of 20 trainees from our state’s major health facility.”

“These problems are real and they are now. Doctors in this state – together with other health professions – are watching the leadership instability with growing concern,” Dr Fletcher stated.

The AMA(SA) has today written to Health Minister Jack Snelling to stress its concerns, seeking to  discuss these issues in more detail with the Minister as a matter of priority, and is also seeking a meeting with Jenny Richter at the earliest opportunity.

 

19 April 2017

Contact:  Eva O’Driscoll, 8361 0106

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