HEALTH professionals in Ipswich will lose their jobs after the State Government told the region's healthcare managers it would not accept another year of overspending.
In the past financial year, the region's health managers spent $370 million despite being set a budget of $353 million. The Bligh government picked up the $17 million deficit, but Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has warned he will not do the same.
Ten staff based at the Ipswich Health Plaza will be made redundant before the year's end, and union officials have warned they will not be the last healthcare workers to lose their jobs.
The West Moreton Health and Hospital Service - which manages Queensland Health services in the region - was notified of the cuts this week.
The 10 jobs include five allied health staff from Home and Community Care
and four from the Women's Health department, plus one security guard.
The cuts will save $1.18 million.
Union officials claim that without the staff, the Home and Community Care department will not be able to reach 270 of the 4000 elderly clients they visit at home.
Health service chief executive officer Lesley Dwyer said historically the region had spent more money than it had been allocated.
"What we have done as part of reviewing our activity and budget is identified areas operating outside the budget," she said.
"In 2012/13 it is an expectation that we would meet our budget allocation."
Together Union lead organiser Dennis Mullins said the health service was not to blame for the job cuts.
"They have been given less funding than they need to give the level of care they have in the past," he said.
"These jobs are a loss of frontline services to the Ipswich community to the most at-risk groups - the frail aged and young women. It is a critical area which provides frontline support to young women and intellectually disabled women in times of crisis."
Mr Mullins said the staff included social workers who were first point of call after sexual assaults.
Shadow Health Minister and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller said Mr Springborg must take responsibility for the cuts.
"I know not only of young women but women in their 60s who have been sexually assaulted and have been helped by these services," she said.
"It is of grave concern to me that they have cut these services."
Ipswich MP Ian Berry said the LNP was transforming how health services were governed.
"The LNP government is committed to a health system that puts patients first, gives the local community a say in services, and values the knowledge and hard work of skilled frontline staff," he said.