Health service reveals 154 redundancies
WEST Moreton Health Service delivered savings totalling more than $7 million in the last financial year - but at a cost of redundancies among frontline staff.
The health services annual report, released yesterday, revealed nurses accepted half of the 154 voluntary redundancies approved by the health service.
Administration staff accounted for 48 of the redundancies and health practitioners 23, which include health promotion officers, environmental health officers and allied health professionals.
One doctor accepted a voluntary redundancy.
The health service was tasked with finding $17 million in budget savings after the Newman Government came to power.
The board made more than $12 million in redundancy payouts to staff and a voluntary separation payment of more than $300,000 was made by Queensland Health to two staff that left the service in 2011-12. Bundamba MP and Opposition health minister Jo-Ann Miller said the nurses should be replaced with graduates.
"The minister for health has proved himself to be the minister for health cuts and closures. The fact 154 people have been made redundant is a disgrace," she said.
"There are many, many nurses who have taken redundancies and they should immediately be replaced with graduate nurses."
Ipswich MP Ian Berry praised the performance of board chairman Dr Mary Corbett and chief executive Lesley Dwyer.
Mr Berry said the board made some tough decisions.
"There is always heartache when it comes to redundancy but they have made some hard decisions but they have to be made," he said.
Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg said the West Moreton health service will reinvest saved dollars into reducing elective surgery waiting lists, enhancing maternity, cardiology and paediatric services and undertaking building improvements.
"This reinvestment of saved dollars is a real boost to public health in the West Moreton community," he said.
Dr Corbett said the health service reviewed service delivery and partnered with other health providers to deliver real benefit to the community.