Health staff shed with $17m budget shortfall
THE West Moreton health service has begun shedding staff to rein in a $17 million budget in line with the Newman government's tough spending targets.
Thirteen West Moreton Hospital and Health Service staff have accepted voluntary redundancies, but union officials fear this number could reach 200 by the time the budget is met.
West Moreton Health Service chief executive Lesley Dwyer said three of the staff held frontline positions.
"These positions were part of the service review that occurred in community health services which identified positions that were not funded as part of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service budget," she said.
"We are expecting more staff to be approved for voluntary redundancies between now and March."
Together Union lead organiser Dennis Mullins said the crunch would come when volunteer redundancies ended and staff were forced to leave their jobs.
He said staff had the choice to leave and take the 12-week remuneration package or stay and risk being told there was no longer a job for them.
"The morale has been fractured for months and it's showing no sign of improvement and it won't, particularly when people are being asked to give up their careers in the lead-up to Christmas," he said.
Mr Mullins said the hospital boards were being forced into making decisions based on new funding models introduced by the Newman government.
"They will pay the price in five to 10 years time because by taking money and personnel out of preventative health care because those people will become acute cases in 10 years time."
Ms Dwyer said a significant amount of work had been under way across the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service to identify possible efficiencies.
She said the review would improve service delivery and bring savings in a significant budget shortfall.
"There are a number of service reviews being undertaken as part of this process," she said.