Doctors are "horrified" by the lack of adequate space at the new $2 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital, opposition health spokesman Stephen Wade says.
Mr Wade says some doctors are warning a 20 per cent reduction in outpatient activity at the new hospital, which is due to open in September, will mean “sub-optimal care for patients”.
“For more than two years now doctors have been ringing the alarm bells about the lack of adequate space in the new RAH,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Monday.
“Now they’re horrified about the design that’s been implemented at this hospital.”
The comments come after SA Health chief executive Vickie Kaminski said on Monday the new hospital will not be able to fit 375,000 of the outpatient attendances the current RAH caters to each year.
She said that figure is equivalent to about one in five of all attendances.
Ms Kaminski said one factor in why the new outpatient department does not reflect current attendance rates is that design of it began about a decade ago.
But SA Health is investigating ways to make the most of the smaller capacity.
“We’re looking at how do we schedule the outpatient rooms – do we do days and evenings, can we do seven day a week outpatients,” Ms Kaminski told ABC radio.
Mr Wade said the “dramatic design failure” is likely to mean the facility, which was originally meant to open in early 2016, could need further upgrades later.
“It means that we will need to retrofit the new RAH to have more fit-for-purposes spaces and it may well mean that we have to buy additional space in other buildings,” he said.