Eyre Peninsula patients who suffer a stroke will now have access to specialised treatment closer to home at Whyalla Hospital and Health Service.
The service redesign, which has also been rolled out in Mount Gambier and Berri, includes improved access to reperfusion therapy and clearer support arrangements between country and metropolitan hospitals ensuring stroke patients are assessed by expert medical staff sooner.
Health Minister Peter Malinauskas said the government was committed to continually improving access to health services for patients in regional areas.
“Extending access to specialist stroke services at the state’s three largest country general hospitals is good news for patients and their loved ones,” he said.
“Now, more country stroke patients will be able to access specialised stroke care closer to home.”
Medical Services acting executive director Dr David Rosenthal said clinical teams at the stroke services in Mount Gambier, Berri and Whyalla would continue to liaise with the specialist stroke teams in Adelaide for support to undertake timely reperfusion therapy where it could be safely performed and organise a transfer to Adelaide if further acute treatment was required, for example a clot retrieval.
“The early recognition of a patient with stroke symptoms, using tools such as F.A.S.T. (Face Arm Speech Time) is vital, and members of the community who suspect someone is suffering stroke symptoms should immediately call 000.”