Transforming Health: 240 SA Health positions to be axed in Adelaide’s south
More than 200 nursing, allied health and administration positions are to be axed in Adelaide’s southern suburbs as part of the State Government’s Transforming Health shake-up.
Health Minister Jack Snelling said work would be found for the majority of staff elsewhere but, for the first time, some nurses would be offered voluntary redundancies.
Staff would have to apply for new roles but those who did not find new positions would be declared excess.
All up, 117 beds will be closed, meaning 240 positions will go.
The dramatic changes are contained in a SA Health document obtained by the ABC.
Adelaide’s Repatriation General Hospital has long been earmarked for closure, but the document reveals it will not be the only casualty in the south.
The Flinders Medical Centre vascular unit is to be downsized from 26 to 18 beds, while its orthopaedics and plastics units will lose eight beds.
Six beds will be cut in stroke and neurology.
Mr Snelling said “efficiencies” would allow the reductions, which would also affect the Noarlunga Health Service.
“Overwhelmingly, we’ll accommodate them with other positions within SA Health and overwhelming within Southern Adelaide Local Health Network as well,” he said.
Nurses are already preparing for industrial action over stalled enterprise bargaining negotiations.
“We’re talking about a large number of beds being closed over the next 18 months and an equally big impact on the nurses that’ll be employed in the south over that period of time,” Rob Bonner from the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation said.
“There is no doubt the budget is driving a lot of the decision-making at the moment and that’s not what Transforming Health was supposed to be.”
Bernadette Mulholland from the SA Salaried Medical Officers Association said the cuts would impact on patient care and future services in Adelaide’s southern suburbs.