Premier Steven Marshall remains tight lipped on Keith Hospital funding situation

RECOVERY: Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin (left), South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, CFS chief officer Mark Jones (behind Premier Marshall), Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia, and Member for MacKillop Nick McBride at the location of this week's Blackford bushfire. Photo: Elisabeth Champion.
RECOVERY: Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin (left), South Australian Premier Steven Marshall, CFS chief officer Mark Jones (behind Premier Marshall), Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia, and Member for MacKillop Nick McBride at the location of this week's Blackford bushfire. Photo: Elisabeth Champion.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall remained tight lipped about progress of the Keith and District Hospital's funding situation today.

Questions about the hospital's funding situation were asked while the premier, along with the Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia, were visiting the location of this week's Blackford bushfire.

"That is a matter for Stephen Wade, It's also a matter for the local health network," Premier Marshall said when asked about the hospital's funding situation.

"When we came into government we said we wanted to do as much as possible to move the decision making back to the local communities."

He mentioned that under the previous SA Government the state only had one Local Health Network (LHN) for the whole state, but since his government took office, the number has increased to six.

"There is a fantastically efficient LHN here in the South East, so South East people are having a say in the healthcare that they have," Premier Marshal said.

"We are wanting to make sure every person in the South East has access to high quality health services.

"We are informed by the LHN, as well as SA Health - we will respond appropriately."

The hospital's board held a special meeting on November 30 last year, with chair Warren Ingerson sharing his frustrations over the lack of response from the South Australian Government.

Mr Ingerson said the hospital is currently seeking around $1.5 million of funding per year.

"We are asking for $1.5 million in funding, but the government has been giving us just under $1 million for the last 10 years - I cant understand why they are baulking at that," Mr Ingerson said.

Since last year's meeting, the hospital have managed to secure $750,000, which will fund the hospital until June 30.

Tatiara District Council threw it's support behind the hospital last December, writing a letter to various ministers, in the hope that the hospital's funding situation would be made as a matter of urgency.

Council sent a letter to Premier Marshall, Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade, Limestone Coast Health Network chair Grant King and Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton.

Cr Miles Hannemann explained that consistently receiving six months of funding is doing significant harm to the hospital.

"The six month payment is the one that's killing the hospital - I've got friends that don't work there because they've gone and got a job that has a long-term commitment," Cr Hannemann said.

Despite the hospital's board nearly exhausting every possible option to secure long-term funding, the desire to fight for the hospital is still there.

Mr Ingerson has urged the Keith community to rally together and send their thoughts to Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade in the hopes of garnering his attention.

"The SA Government are trying to wear us down, but we are trying to wear them down," Mr Ingerson said.