Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Current State of BMDAMH - October 1st 2009

Did you know:

  1. The recently opened Breast Screening Clinic will close during October and November due to no female radiographer being available.
  2. The hospital kiosk will close on October 11th 2009. An interim kiosk will be run from the staff dining room!
  3. Five (5) beds remain closed in the Mental Health Unit (closed since May 2009) and no after hours admissions are permissible.
  4. Eight (8) beds remain closed in the Rehabilitation Unit.

When our hospital is allowed to service the local community, it does a brilliant job. Why are services at our local hospital being strangled?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

We are not Alone!

Rural babies at risk - the human face of health-care cuts

If you missed the 7.30 Report on ABC TV last night (Sept 21st), you can read a transcript of the item entitled "Rural babies at risk - the human face of health-care cuts" at

The report focussed on Pambula Hospital, which is located on the far South Coast of NSW. Sadly, it was an all too familiar story.

To learn more about the fight to save Pambula Hospital visit their website

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unions say 1000 jobs to go in hospital purge

Source SMH - NATASHA WALLACE September 21, 2009

THE Health Department's voluntary redundancy program for public hospital workers is shaping up to be the state's largest purge of nurses, therapists and other health workers, with about 1000 jobs expected to go, unions say.

Despite severe workforce shortages, the department has been calling for massive redundancies to compensate for its $646.6 million budget blowout.

The Sydney West Area Health Service, which includes Nepean, Westmead and Blue Mountains hospitals, is most affected, with more than 500 health workers and 300 nurses wanting redundancy, the Health Services Union and NSW Nurses Association say.

So far, 240 nurses, social workers, dental assistants, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other health workers and support staff have been offered redundancy, according to union figures.

A NSW Nurses Association manager, Susan Pearce, said Sydney's west was losing critical frontline staff. ''We were absolutely shocked … We are very concerned about the people remaining in the system because of the workload pressure, and that workload flows directly into patient safety care,'' she said.

''I've been working in the system for 20 years and I don't recall anything like this.'' An area spokeswoman denied the figures were that high, saying 77 redundancies had been offered so far.

The North Coast Area Health Service was hoping to shed 400 health jobs, according to the general secretary of the NSW Nurses Association, Brett Holmes.

''We can't see how they can get more out of nursing without major cuts to services,'' he said. The area had already lost 100 full-time equivalent nurse positions through piecemeal trimming.
The health service said only 20 staff had been made redundant and the 400-jobs target was a result of such ''efficiency measures'' as cutting back on overtime and agency staff.

The cuts come after the Garling inquiry last year called NSW's nurse shortage a looming ''major crisis'' and recognised shortages of therapists.

Jillian Skinner said it was the ''biggest cutback in frontline staff'' she had seen since becoming Opposition health spokeswoman in 1995.

''It's massive,'' she said. ''I've already had it confirmed that some of the people that have accepted redundancies are emergency department nurses at Nepean. That's the hospital with the worst record of [emergency department] performance in the state.''

The Health Minister, Carmel Tebbutt, defended the department, saying ''growing demand means we need to … manage the health budget wisely, while meeting patient needs''.

The Health Department has refused to reveal the total number of staff to be made redundant, saying: ''There is no statewide voluntary redundancy program. ''Area health services would be very unlikely to approve applications from staff working in essential clinical roles.'' It also said there was ''not a statewide shortage of staff''.

The general secretary of the Health Services Union, Michael Williamson, said Greater Western Area Health Service has called for 100 HSU positions to be cut, but had said But the area said only 21 administration staff had taken redundancy.

South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Area Health Service had targeted 120 HSU positions, 85 per cent of which were taken, Mr Williamson said. Area management said 85 staff over two years had taken redundancy but they were not clinicians.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Video of handover of the HEAL petition to Shadow Health Minister Jillian Skinner at Katoomba Hospital on 5 August 2009. The speakers are Blue Mountains Deputy Mayor Janet Mays, Jillian Skinner and HEAL members and supporters.