The closure of a ward at the Royal Adelaide Hospital is an "insult" to doctors and nurses who are fuming about the decision, South Australia's peak medical body says.
And the state opposition says premier Jay Weatherill must sack his health minister for closing the 26-bed ward without proper consultation.
The Australian Medical Association's SA branch says it has met with the hospital's medical staff who say the closure of ward S7 is putting unacceptable strain on the hospital.
"The decision to close these beds without appropriate consultation has left doctors angry and baffled," the branch's president Janie Fletcher said on Wednesday.
She said hospitals across metropolitan Adelaide were already short on beds and the number of patients presenting to emergency departments was increasing.
"It is clear that those responsible for these decisions have either not understood the impact of their decision or ignored the consequences," Flethcer said.
She said the decision was an "insult" to hospital staff and showed a breakdown in communication between the government and senior doctors and nurses.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said the closure was part of cuts at the Royal Adelaide and Queen Elizabeth hospitals that would result in the loss of 55 beds.
The ward was temporarily closed over the Christmas break and was supposed to reopen next week but the federation said SA Health would keep it shut.
Opposition health spokesman Stephen Wade said SA health minister Jack Snelling should be given the boot over the "hospital chaos he is creating".
"Minister Snelling either can't be trusted or can't deliver," Wade said.
Meanwhile nurses met on Wednesday 18 January 2017 and decided to impose restrictions on admissions at the two hospitals from Saturday, so long as patient safety was not compromised.
SA Health says the total number of public hospital beds across Adelaide would not be reduced with transfers across the network to better serve patients.Do you have an idea for a story?
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