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Miller demands details of $21m hospital cuts

BUNDAMBA MP Jo-Ann Miller has called for the West Moreton Health Service to reveal the details of budget cuts after the board refused to outline what services were affected.

Health service chief executive Lesley Dwyer said rumours of widespread cuts to services were baseless, but did reveal $1.6 million was saved through staff redundancies and efficient rostering systems.

Mrs Miller, the Shadow health minister, said the remainder of the $21 million budget cuts should be explained to the public.

"West Moreton HHS CEO Lesley Dwyer has been seeking credit for reducing the local services budget by $21 million over the past six months. She has been praised by LNP MP Ian Berry for slashing the budget so quickly," she said.

"Ms Dwyer has, however, been less forthcoming about which jobs have been cut and what services have been reduced or closed."

Ms Dwyer said 80 staff had applied and accepted redundancies.

She stuck to her prediction that the health service would enter the 2013/14 financial year with a balanced budget.

"Of course we are only seven months into this financial year and there is still more work to do," she said.

"Nevertheless, this is a significant achievement and has been made possible largely through cutting unnecessary expenditure and better planning.

"For example we have put a stop to unnecessary travel and expenditure on miscellaneous items that do not improve patient care or our staff working environment."

Ms Dwyer said throughout the process corners had not been cut and patient care remained at the top of the board's list.

"Despite claims to the contrary, there have been no wide-scale service closures, but rather living within our means and looking for better ways to do things."

A board to run West Moreton Hospital and Health services was announced by Minister Lawrence Springborg last May.

The WMHHS received a budget allocation of $373 million.

Topics:  ipswich hospital, jo-ann miller




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