Senior doctor at Royal Adelaide Hospital denounces cancellation of surgery as theaters remain inactive

Health officials have defended the use of Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) facilities for filming purposes at a time of acute pressure within the state’s healthcare system, after a senior doctor launched a scathing attack on social networks.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Craig Jurisevic yesterday shared photos showing he said inactive intensive care unit (ICU) beds, operating theaters serving as storage rooms and an intensive care room “used as a studio for an independent film crew “.

The state’s hospital system has repeatedly been plagued by ramping up and internal tensions in recent months, and braces for an increase in COVID-19 cases when border restrictions are eased on November 23.

In his Facebook post, Dr Jurisevic – who is also an Australian Army trauma expert – asked the South Australian government to ‘please explain’ why the infrastructure was dormant at a time of need. were increased.

“[I’m] ask all cancer patients who have had [and will have] their life-saving surgery was canceled, ”wrote Dr. Jurisevic.

“We had to cancel two more urgent lung cancer patients today due to lack of operating rooms and intensive care beds.”

Dr Craig Jurisevic said the operating theaters served as stores.(Facebook: Craig Jurisevic)

One of those patients was Jillian Wade, who said she received a phone call informing her that “there were no beds available” and her scheduled surgery had been postponed.

She said she was “disgusted” by the decision and worried about the impact on cancer patients.

“I think they signed their death warrant,” she said.

“They have garbage in all of these rooms, or empty rooms that are set up for cancer patients.

“Most cancers grow back, if we let them.”

Jillian Wade, patient at Adelaide Hospital.
Cancer patient Jillian Wade has had her scheduled surgery postponed.(ABC News)

The Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) – which is responsible for the RAH – and Prime Minister Steven Marshall defended the presence of the film crew, saying it was producing an important educational video for hospital staff.

But Dr Jurisevic’s post was seized by SA Labor, who accused the government of neglecting COVID-19 planning.

“What is this film crew doing snooping around in the RAH, in the intensive care?” [and] operating theaters? “asked Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas.

“How does this shoot prioritize patient care just when we need it more than ever?”

“It doesn’t bode well for us to be able to handle the COVID cases that are going to come. “

The educational video was “made in one day”

CALHN CEO Lesley Dwyer said it was “only right” for a camera crew to be on hand to work on an educational video.

“You would see this in most hospitals,” she said.

“We provide educational materials and I think films, not only for our community, but also for educational purposes within the Royal Adelaide for our clinical staff.

Lesley Dwyer is Executive Director of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network.
CALHN chief executive Lesley Dwyer said the camera crew was making an important informational video.(ABC News)

Mr Marshall – who was on site today at Royal Adelaide Hospital to announce $ 5.5 million in funding for the first of several COVID-19 care centers – said he was satisfied with the current level of resources .

“We have a lot of intensive care capacity here at Royal Adelaide Hospital, but some of it needs to be preserved for times when there is significant trauma in South Australia and we need that surge capacity,” a- he declared.

Later in parliamentary question time, Marshall said he was “100% satisfied that the purpose of this shoot is to provide very important health information.”

“It is good practice to shoot educational videos in hospitals and clinics,” he said.

Asked by Labor as to whether any of the images would be used in government advertisements, Mr Marshall joked about the state of South African politics while pointing to the opposition benches.

“It’s a video for a blood management unit,” he said.

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