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Greens launch plan to tackle ramping by axing fossil fuel subsidies

11 January 2024

The Government would employ 200 new GPs and establish special ‘transit wards’ to speed up the transfer of patients from ambulances, under a Greens plan to tackle the state’s ramping crisis.

The Greens’ push comes after ambulance ramping reached a record high in November at 4285 hours for the month and a new survey reveals that South Australians are struggling to access a GP, with just over one in four GP clinics offering bulk billing in regular business hours.[1]

Under the Greens’ plan 200 new GPs would provide free consults to people with a health care card, fully subsidised by the State Government. The Greens are also calling for:

  • Transit wards at major Adelaide hospitals to expedite ambulance patient transfers.
  • A state-wide bed manager to oversee all patient transfers and ensure pre-arranged bed availability.
  • Rapid off-load procedures for transferring patient care within 30 minutes of arrival at emergency departments.

The proposals are based on the recommendations of the Ambulance Employees Association and could be funded by axing the $159 million dollars of State Government subsidies provided to the oil and gas industries. [2] [3]

“It’s absurd our public health system is starved of funds while the fossil fuel industry receives these massive Government handouts, especially when we know that fossil fuels contribute to poor health outcomes like childhood asthma”, said Greens SA Health Spokesperson Robert Simms MLC.[3]

“It’s also shocking that so many South Australians are struggling to find a GP clinic that offers bulk-billing in the middle of this economic crisis. When people are unable to afford to access a GP it can lead to medical issues becoming acute or chronic. Funding free GPs will ensure that people can easily access affordable primary healthcare and reduce the pressure on our hospital system.”



Total project cost over four years ($000)

Calculation method

200 fully funded GPs

110 000 

Calculated at $500,000 per year per GP to pay for salary, equipment and overheads. Currently a GP consult costs approximately $80 per consult.

Transit wards at major hospitals

30 000 

Based on the State budgeted cost for 48 sub-acute beds at Lyell McEwin Hospital, but multiplied to apply to 6 major hospitals

State-wide bed manager

8 000 

Based on $2m per year over four years. For reference, the Minister’s office is budgeted at $2.8m per year.

Rapid off-load procedures

10 000 

Roll out of 7 strategies is currently budgeted at $66m in the State Budget papers, so this has been extrapolated for a conservative estimate.


158 000 


Removal of fossil fuel subsidies

159 000 

Based on report from Australia Institute