Survey on future of health services in Balaklava underway

SA Health are surveying Balaklava residents to gather insight into the key health needs and service opportunities for the Balaklava Soldiers’ Memorial District Hospital.

Executive director of Nursing and Midwifery in the Yorke and Northern Local Health Network, Michael Eades, was in the Balaklava Town Hall on Monday, May 17, conducting consultation with the community.

“What we’re doing today is talking about what is it that we can do, what else is needed and where are the gaps that enable people to live well and be healthy in their community,” Michael said.

“So this is more than just the hospital service, what else is needed?

“How do we help you live your best life within the community of Balaklava?”

There are a series of posters pasted to the hall’s walls outlining health facts and key action areas identified by consultation with clinicians in the area, and there’s now the space for residents to add their thoughts.

Michael said that several issues that have already been mentioned after a few hours of face-to-face community consultation were concerns about diabetes and having nurses who can help individuals be supported at home.

“We’ve had people say to us ‘We don’t want to lose our hospital’, and that’s certainly not on our discussion board, this is about seeing what else is needed,” Michael said.

“We’re asking ‘Well, what do we need to be in this community to help people stay and live locally and live well?’”

Former nurse, Lynne Sutton, is passionate about healthcare in the region and has taken the opportunity of the survey to campaign for the reinstatement of the recently closed surgical theatre at the hospital.

“We need it for more than just emergencies, we need it so doctors can keep up their expertise and keep patients away from Adelaide to alleviate ramping in the city,” Lynne said.

Lynne identified that the removal of the surgical services meant that people who have not got anyone in the area to care for them or do not have transport will be inconvenienced.

“When I was nursing, we had a fully functional theatre, we had specialists come in to consult with you one month and they would be back the following month to operate.

“They had a general surgeon who would do all sorts of things, we did bone breaks, we had an ear nose and throat doctor, this all saved us from going down to Adelaide for care.”

Have your say on the Balaklava Soldiers’ Memorial District Hospital Health Service Planning in person at the final face-to-face consultation session at the Balaklava Town Hall today until 1:30pm, or online surveys can be completed until Sunday, May 30.