Patients will suffer, AMA president warns

Editorial: Mental health deserves the right treatment

Editorial: Mental health deserves the right treatment

PATIENTS will suffer and receive worse treatment as a result of cuts to Bendigo Health’s budget, according to Australian Medical Association Victorian president Dr Stephen Parnis. 

Dr Parnis said the changes were “unprecedented in my 20 years as a doctor” and labelled the situation a “crisis”. 

“This is a source of profound stress on all clinical staff across hospitals in the state,” he told the Bendigo Advertiser.

“It is taking its toll on staff in terms of their frustration at their inability to care for patients in ways they would deem appropriate. 

“As a result we call on the governments to treat this crisis with the respect and decisiveness it deserves.”  

Dr Parnis said the $2.9 million federal government cuts at Bendigo had destroyed the confidence to plan services but that both governments needed to fix the issues. 

“This has long been a shared responsibility,” he said. “And the issue from the state perspective is that they are the manager of the public hospital system.

“The immediate restoration of some of these harsh budget cuts needs to be shared between the federal and state governments. 

“If the status quo continues where both health ministers, the premier and prime minister and the treasurers for that matter continue to point fingers at each other, we are not going to achieve any improvement in this situation. 

“The patients will suffer avoidable risks.”

Dr Parnis said hospitals had been put in an impossible position and that the cuts were “extreme”. 

“There’s no fat in the system in terms of flexibility with the budgets at any of the major hospitals,” he said. 

“These cuts are going to have fairly severe implications for clinical services and that’s going to be putting patients at increased risk. 

“It makes the jobs of doctors and nurses that much more difficult. 

“We are being asked to provide services that are always going up in terms of demand, but being provided with fewer resources to do the job.”

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