Govt must make real commitment to allergy sufferers

08 Jun 2005 archivemedia

Health Minister Lea Stevens must do more than just ‘consider’ additional funding for drastically under-resourced South Australian allergy specialists, according to Liberal MLC Michelle Lensink.

On ABC radio this afternoon, Ms Stevens’ office claimed it would consider more funding for allergy treatment.

Currently, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and the Flinders Medical Centre are the only public health services in the State for children who have had an anaphylactic episode, the most severe type of allergic reaction and which can result in death.

“The Minister must provide additional resources to the over-worked allergy specialists in this State,” Ms Lensink said.

“I hope that the comment from Ms Stevens’ office is not just another hollow statement to deflect media criticism.

“The Minister’s neglect of outpatient services is short sighted because specialists provide advice to anaphylactic sufferers on how to manage their condition, helping reduce the demand for expensive emergency care.”

Ms Lensink said the 2005-06 budget showed that the same number of outpatient services would be provided at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital as last year – so allergy sufferers will continue to wait.

“My main concern is that the Minister has not adopted a long-term strategy for the management of allergies in this State,” Ms Lensink said.

“The Rann Government has a record of only reacting to community concern when it is voiced through the media.

“While the Health Minister takes her finger off the pulse, children are put at risk by a tight-fisted government.”