State budget reveals cuts to health staff numbers set to continue

Monday 16 May 2016

The union representing health professionals said the state budget had once again failed to deliver for the health system, with the Government’s program to slash thousands of jobs set to continue over the next 4 years.

The HSUWA said the government’s workforce renewal policy, which will remain in place, would cut $381 million from the budget over the next three years, which was the equivalent of 3,800 jobs. 

In addition, the 1% efficiency dividend would amount to a $144 million cut, equivalent to a further 1,400 jobs.

“This comes on top of the 1500 jobs that have already been cut since 2014/15,” said HSUWA Acting Secretary Chris Panizza.

“We are already seeing the impacts of these cuts across the health system, with levels of service being seriously impacted and waiting lists continuing to grow, 

“We know last month at Fiona Stanley Hospital there were 97 patients, including cancer patients, who should have been operated on within 30 days, but because of serious staff shortages have been waiting for more than 200 days.”

The budget has forecast increases in hospital activity and inpatient episodes of 2.4% and 1.9% respectively

The number of staff delivering mental health hospital bed based services has also been cut by 6%.

“What this basically means is that there will be more patients, and less staff,” said Mr Panizza.

“As more and more jobs go, the remaining staff will be overworked and under even greater pressure, further impacting on already suffering service levels and patient care,” he said.

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