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Wednesday, 13 November 1974
Page: 2315


Senator JESSOP (South Australia) -I am sorry that I was not present at the resumption of this debate, but I am concerned to squeeze a little more information out of the Minister with respect to Birrallee Convalescent Home, which is going to be an additional ward for the Daw Park Repatriation General Hospital. As I said last night, I have examined the area very carefully and there is a large building on the street level and down on two other levels there seem to be the wards that are going to be used, as I understand it, for nursing home patients- I believe there is quite a large number of them- many of whom will be in wheelchairs. I ask the Minister: What alterations are going to be made in order to make the wards suitable for the use of wheelchair patients and what cost will be involved? I envisage that there could be toilets, for example, with wider doors and larger toilet buildings, because the area may not be suitable for that type of patient. Another matter in which I am interested is the provision of meals for these patients. Again, I understand, the kitchen is on the top level and the meals will have to be carried by waitresses down to these two levels.

Another aspect that worries me is that it appears that this ward is going to be reopenedand I commend the Department for doing thatwithout any additional staff. I do not see how that can possibly be achieved without making some impact on the numbers of acutely ill patients who can be treated at the main general hospital. Additionally, I understand that the Minister has said there are going to be further extensions of rehabilitation services at Daw Park by the acquiring of a property next door that the Australian Government originally owned anyway. In my view, this extension is going to create problems with staffing. I again press the Minister on that point and seek his definite assurance that there is going to be no diminution in the numbers of patients in the acutely ill category who can be treated.







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