BENDIGO Health says it has “sufficient staff” despite claims nursing positions have been cut.
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said a leaked email from Bendigo Health showed there had been a reduction in intensive care and coronary staff.
Ms Allan said the cuts equated to two full time nursing positions over a roster.
“We know that Denis Napthine’s $826 million cuts to the Victorian hospital system is having a real impact,” she said.
“And this is yet another example of how in Bendigo, at a local level, these cuts are affecting local patients and local services.
“An email that’s been seen by Maree and I has indicated as a result of budget reductions there’s had to be a reduction in staff in the intensive and coronary care unit.
“These are the areas of the hospital that care for the most critically ill patients in our region and these cuts are of grave concern.”
Ms Edwards said Health Minister David Davis had failed to fix problems with the health system.
“What we’re seeing is a health system that is rapidly going backward,” she said.
But a Bendigo Health spokesman said staff levels often changed.
“Bendigo Health employs close to 1500 nurses and staffing levels change from time to time according to demand and community needs,” they said.
“The unit has sufficient staff to meet the number of patients it treats and this will not change.”
A spokesman for Mr Davis said the government had increased funding for the hospital by $31 million since coming to office.
“The claims by Jacinta Allan and Maree Edwards are wrong,” he said.
“It is disgraceful that Ms Allan and Ms Edwards were totally silent when the former Labor government cut their contribution to Bendigo Hospital by almost $10 million over three years.
“Bendigo Health, with the increased funding from the Coalition government, is managing the hospital to deliver the services that best suit the community.”