Wide Bay public health sector not at risk of job cuts

The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board has said there will be no job cuts until at least the end of this financial year.
The Wide Bay Hospital and Health Board has said there will be no job cuts until at least the end of this financial year. Alistair Brightman

THERE will be no forced redundancies in the public health sector until at least the end of the current financial year.

With rumours rife in the public health sector that 80-100 jobs are at risk, Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service boss Adrian Pennington's declaration that jobs were safe in the short term will calm tensions.

Though there have been cutbacks in health such as the axing of the pathology unit in Maryborough Hospital, these services do not sit under the WBHHS jurisdiction.

Roles are becoming vacant due to natural attrition, Mr Pennington said, but WBHHS workers would be quarantined from job cuts until an analysis of the region's needs was done.

"Jobs are safe in the short term, there will be no cuts as part of cuts to Queensland Health," Mr Pennington said.

"Wide Bay has never delivered a balanced budget, or a surplus budget, though the financial situation improved dramatically under, former CEO Ken Whelan in the past two years.

"The key priority at the moment is to achieve an end of financial year balancing of the books. If we can deliver that there is no need for job losses this financial year."

One of the key objectives to streamlining the WBHHS budgets is a move to bring more full time equivalent positions onto the pay roll to replace locums.

A general practitioner who signs on for a locum in the public health sector is paid $2000-$3000 a day.

Mr Pennington said replacing locum positions within the WBHHS could generate up to $5m in savings.

He said there were social benefits that flowed from health workers being part of the community they worked for.

Topics:  job cuts jobs news queensland health

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