Regional Health Boards
Mr BELL (Mount Gambier) (15:28): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Health. Can the minister provide an update on the regional health boards, in particular in my region of Mount Gambier?
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN (Stuart—Minister for Energy and Mining) (15:28): Thank you, member for Mount Gambier, and I know your very genuine and deep interest in country health, particularly in Mount Gambier in the South-East. Everybody in this house would know that we took to the last election a policy to establish regional health boards and we said that we would introduce legislation within the first 100 years—100 days of the election which, of course, we did.
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: We said that we would introduce legislation within the first 100 days—that would last for 100 years—and, yes, in fact, we did that. That legislation passed this place on 26 July this year, the regional health governance amendment bill, which actually officially sets up those health boards to come into effect on 1 July 2019. On 2 August this year, we outlined the specifics of the regions: six country ones and four metropolitan ones. The country ones are the same boundaries that have existed for a while.
On 2 August, we also announced eight of the 10 board chairs. The other two were for your electorate, member for Mount Gambier, and Eyre Peninsula. Friday last week applications closed for those last two remaining board positions, so no doubt the Minister for Health will make an announcement very shortly about those last two, one of which, of course, is very relevant for your electorate.
Let me say that we are not wasting any time. We are getting on with the job. On 1 July next year, these boards will be in effect. We are actually working through an operational transition between now and then. It's not going to be one system until 30 June and one on 1 July. We will work it through so there is a fairly seamless transition. Those boards will work with a service level agreement with the state government, which—
The Hon. D.C. VAN HOLST PELLEKAAN: —covers both local area health deliveries as well as statewide obligations, which of course each of these boards will be expected to fulfil. Member for Mount Gambier, I am sure that as soon as the health minister has made a decision on the new chair for the South-East board—and of course the same for the member for Flinders with regard to the EP—I am sure the health minister will advise you as quickly as he possibly can.