Gladstone Hospital workers targeted for redundancies

Gladstone Base Hospital is being asked to submit expressions of interest for voluntary staff redundancies.
Gladstone Base Hospital is being asked to submit expressions of interest for voluntary staff redundancies. Christopher Chan

CENTRAL Queensland health workers have been targeted for voluntary redundancies in the latest round of government cost-cutting.

The Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service on Monday morning targeted staff employed at hospitals, including Rockhampton and Gladstone, and facilities to submit expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies.

In an email sighted by APN Newsdesk, the service's chief executive office wrote the voluntary redundancy program would be one of various initiatives implemented under a transformation process.

"To deliver on our commitment to prioritise patient care whilst delivering value for money within a budget, as well as improve service delivery, Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service will be implementing various initiatives under the CQHHS transformation process," the email stated.

"The first initiative is a call for expressions of interest from all staff interested in a voluntary redundancy program."

Employees have until February 4 to submit expressions of interest.

CQHHS board chairman Charles Ware said the service had some 3200 employees but there was no specific target for the number of staff to go.

"Evaluation will be based on each individual who applies, their skill set, the number of applications and the impact on the organisation," he said

"I cannot stress enough that the board's first priority is on patient care, however we need to ensure the most efficient and effective use of the taxpayers' health dollar is achieved."

Together Union secretary Alex Scott said no employee at any Queensland hospital would feel safe.

"The potential closure of Moura and these cuts are all driven at the end of the day by the failure of the government to keep this health system going," he said.

"The problem facing all heath boards is they are being short changed by George Street in relation to not having enough money to continue to provide the services they provided 12 months ago.

"Whether it's Moura (Hospital) or whether it's Rockhampton, there is not enough money to keep our hospitals running."

The redundancy offer comes amid a battle to save the rural Moura Hospital, west of Gladstone.

Residents have threatened to erect a human wall around the small facility in the face of its rumoured closure.

Mr Ware said the CQHHS board was reviewing the efficiency of Central Queensland hospitals and looking for areas where costs could be cut.

"Any financial savings on wages will help make up for an unexpected $4.8 million funding shortfall for this financial year due to recent changes to Commonwealth funding," Mr Ware said.

Its understood the Townsville Health and Hospital Service also informed employees on Monday there would be a further 20 jobs lost in addition to 200 already.

Reader poll

How do you think service at Gladstone Hospital will be affected by redundancies?

This poll ended on 19 February 2013.

I don't think patients will notice any difference - 3%

The government needs to continue to cut costs, so bring it on - 5%

Health services in the region are struggling, and need more staff - 91%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  gladstone, gladstone hospital, health cuts, redundancy



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