• The SA government has kicked off budget week with big spending commitments on hospitals. (AAP)
The AMA has criticised South Australia's government over its health strategy despite it announcing more funds for hospitals in this week's budget.
Source:
AAP
19 Jun - 3:52 PM 

The South Australian government will pump big money into hospitals in this week's budget but continues to take flak from the medical profession for its "confused and poorly managed" health strategy.

The government says $1.1 billion will be allocated to upgrade Adelaide's major metropolitan hospitals to ensure state-of-the-art health care across the city.

It has already announced $250 million of that will go to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for a new emergency department and operating theatres while $56 million will be spent at the Lyell McEwin Hospital, $9 million at the Modbury Hospital and $3.5 million at the Flinders Medical Centre.

The government has also reversed a widely criticised decision to move cardiac services from the Queen Elizabeth to the new Royal Adelaide Hospital which was part of its controversial Transforming Health initiative.

The Australian Medical Association says while some of the government's decision are sensible they have taken the medical profession by complete surprise.

"Put simply, the recent announcement has only reinforced the medical communities' view that this government is leading a confused and poorly managed health strategy," AMA state president William Tam said on Monday.

"Failure to properly engage clinicians, defend poor decisions and then to make major backflips of the nature announced over the weekend is typical of the 'announce and defend' approach."

Professor Tam said AMA members were also concerned the government continually focused on buildings while undermining clinical services, teaching and clinical research.

"While it's great to have surprise announcements about new buildings, health is about people. The people who need the care and the people who provide it," he said.

"Both deserve clear and considered leadership rather than haphazard announcements which appear to be more about an election."

Health Minister Jack Snelling said the government had listened to concerns over the plan to move the Queen Elizabeth's cardiac services while Premier Jay Weatherill said the government was confident its funding commitments would deliver the best health care possible.

"This is what Labor does. Public health care is one of Labor's great policy projects," he said.

Thursday's budget will be the fourth for Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis and the last before the state goes to the polls next March.

As well the hospital funding already announced, it's expected to include cash for a new Women's and Children's Hospital and to reaffirm the government's recent commitments to energy security by building a new gas-fired power station and Australia's largest battery to store renewable energy.