18/10/2021 | Steven Marshall MP | Stephen Wade MLC | Better Services

South Australians will benefit from an additional 149 community beds being created, as part of the Marshall Liberal Government’s strong COVID-ready plan.

The investment will see more South Australians receiving hospital-level care from the comfort of  their home, in a residential aged care facility or disability accommodation.

The investment will further ease pressure on the state’s hospital system in preparation for relaxed borders and eased restrictions.
Premier Steven Marshall said expanding out-of-hospital capacity is a key area of the Marshall Liberal Government’s $123 million COVID-ready capacity investment.

“As South Australia moves into the next phase of its COVID-19 response and edges closer to having 80 percent of our community fully vaccinated, we are massively increasing resources and capacity so South Australians can get the care they need, when they need it,” said Premier Marshall.

“In addition to boosting the number of beds in our public and private hospitals, we are also creating additional community beds outside of hospitals.

“These beds will provide hospital level care outside of a hospital environment, in places such as a person’s home or a residential aged care facility.

“As we move closer to reaching our vaccination targets, we are building a stronger, more agile health system to ensure South Australians have access to the care they need, when they need it and closer to home.

“We are getting on with the job of getting South Australia COVID-ready.”

The community beds announced today are the next stage in the Marshall Liberal Government’s comprehensive COVID-Ready plan with more announcements expected in coming weeks.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said today’s announcement builds on a range of successful out-of-hospital programs run by our Local Health Networks such as Rehabilitation in the Home, Palliative Care in the Home, Geriatric Evaluation Management in the Home, and My Home Hospital.

“For many South Australians, care can be provided by a clinician or health professional in the community instead of hospital, replacing the need for a hospital bed and further easing pressure on the system so we can continue to appropriately handle COVID-19,” said Minister Wade.

“We have also seen the impact that the highly contagious Delta variant has had interstate and can learn valuable lessons from New South Wales and Victoria, where transmission of COVID-19 between patients in hospitals led to more severe illness and deaths.

“Out-of-hospital services are incredibly valuable as being admitted to hospital can be a strain on patients and their families. If the situation allows, we want to ensure a person can be treated outside of hospital, in a home-like environment in the community, with their family close by.

“We know if we can achieve a high vaccination rate across our state, the vast majority of positive cases in South Australia will not require hospitalisation.

“This is why we are continuing to engage and undertake planning with all elements of the health sector, including bringing hospital level care to where people live.

“South Australians can be assured that when our borders reopen, our health system will be ready for all South Australians to access the care they need if required.”

The additional bed capacity comes in addition to 30 community beds already announced at the Repat Health Precinct. 75 community beds will be in operation by the end of October.

Community bed capacity includes beds across the disability and NDIS sector and residential aged care facilities, as well as care in the home.

To further assist hospital capacity, an additional 45 disability support packages are made available in this initiative to facilitate the discharge of patients awaiting accommodation, equipment or home modifications, or support services through the NDIS.

Latest data shows that over 75 percent of South Australians over 16 have received their first vaccine dose and almost 58 percent are fully vaccinated.

South Australians can book in for a vaccination at www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/covidvaccine and walk-ins are available at multiple clinics.