Health jobs to go

ONE hundred jobs will be axed immediately from North Coast Area Health, with 18 going from Coffs Harbour hospital, documents obtained by The Advocate reveal.

North Coast Area Health service chief executive, Chris Crawford, has confirmed the job cuts and said more could be announced soon. Seven cleaning services jobs will go as well as a number of positions in administration, health and safety, and there is even a plan to reduce services to assist the much-loved Pink Ladies volunteers.

A number of contracts will not be renewed with others reduced in an attempt to cut costs.

The move has prompted Coffs Harbour MP Andrew Fraser to question the safe operation of the hospital.

“It is more important to clean out the bureaucracy than to clean out the cleaners,” he said.

“There are no non-vital positions in the health system. All positions are vital.

“The CEO of the NCAHS has advised that cleaning positions would be cut in this latest round which, I believe, is an extremely dangerous thing for any health service to do especially in light of the recent VRE outbreak at the Coffs Harbour Health Campus.”

The cuts come after the State Government last year ordered the health service to slash millions of dollars from its budget. In total 400 positions will be slashed from the 6000-strong North Coast Area Health Service, Mr Crawford said.

“We can deliver the same level of staffing with less staff,” said Mr Crawford

“It is positions that are being deleted, not staff.”

Further north in Lismore, 48 positions, including four full-time theatre nurses, five night relief staff, four nurses from its orthopaedic ward, four from maternity, and one from its renal unit, will go.

Additional maintenance work and cleaning staff also face the axe, with additional cuts due at Casino, Kyogle and Coraki.

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