I recently attended a training day in Adelaide, which gave regional journalists a chance to have a first hand look at state parliament and meet with politicians including Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis.
As a newcomer to the journalism industry, I never realised how regional media was on the back burner for the government.
On a positive note, the state government is taking steps to improve the relationship between regional media and politicians through a new regional media adviser whose role it is to boost regional engagement.
However, this is not the only way politicians have lost touch with the residents in regional areas.
Mr Koutsantonis told the group the new Royal Adelaide Hospital was considered by the state government to be a “major regional hospital”.
I can understand that when it comes to traumas, accidents and other medical issues that are rare or come on suddenly and need expert specialist doctors.
I realise that it is impossible to staff every hospital with doctors specialising in each different field but I believe there should at least be basic services in regional hospitals.
For example the fact that expectant mothers on Eastern Eyre Peninsula have to uproot themselves and their families just before their due dates to go to major centres just to give birth seems crazy.
I do not understand why there is not at least one midwife and doctor servicing the Eastern Eyre that is able to deliver a baby.
If there is not enough demand to have midwives at each individual hospital, there should at least one in the area.
It is the same with cancer patients, many of whom have to travel to Adelaide regularly to receive treatment, however they receive minimal assistance with travel.
Instead, funding is put into a new metropolitan hospital that is meant to service the regional areas but is located hours away from the patients it is meant to help.
The level of aged care services available in regional areas is also worrying.
Why should we have to send off our loved ones to other towns just because the local areas cannot cope with the demand?
I realise I am new to South Australia’s regional areas but I can already see how out of touch politicians can be with these communities.
Eyre Peninsula Tribune journalist