Bendigo Health set to announce cost cuts

BENDIGO Health is expected to announce how federal funding cuts will affect hospital services in two or three weeks. 

Bendigo Health chairman  Michael Langdon said proposals to deal with the cuts had been submitted to the Health Department late last year. 

“It will have an impact on staff,” he said. 

“As far as how the staff numbers goes and whether there will be job losses is another thing. 

“We’re going to work very carefully not to be creating job losses, it will be more a reduction in hours and perhaps changes in different areas, rather than getting rid of staff.”

Mr Langdon said the hospital was looking to reduce non-clinical services. 

“We will be reviewing our car fleet, annual leave, transportation, whether we will fill vacancies as they come up... a whole range of things,” he said.

“Clearly it will have an effect on the services we will provide our local community. 

“Cutting elective surgery is not something we’re wanting to do. But really we have no choice.” 

Mr Langdon said the hospital would inform the community of the changes once government discussions had been finalised. 

“We’ve certainly informed our staff that these cuts are imminent,” he said.

“We will keep them informed as much as we can as we go through this process.”

Mr Langdon said politicians were “playing the blame game” over the cuts but said the federal government was responsible. 

“To introduce cuts halfway through the year is just sudden and totally unexpected,” he said. 

“We’ll know what changes will be made in a couple of weeks. 

“We have to implement the changes soon because every day it just compounds. It gets harder.”

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