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Hospital staff woes ‘diabolical’: Hanson

By Charlotte Harper - 20 October 2015 6

Nurse job ad

Shadow Minister for Health and Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson has issued a statement describing staffing issues in the Intensive Care Unit at the Canberra Hospital as “diabolical” and linking the problems with the cost of light rail.

Nurses at the hospital have lodged an industrial dispute over staffing levels in the unit. ACT Health is currently advertising to fill several nursing positions there.

“This latest development in the nurses’ lodgment of an industrial dispute again demonstrates that now is the worst time for the Barr government to be squandering $1 billion on light rail,” Mr Hanson said.

“Simon Corbell’s core job as Health Minister should be to adequately staff critical areas inside the hospital.”

“He needs to listen to the concerns of nurses and doctors because they know best what is required in terms of staffing when it comes to healthcare.

“Only last week, data revealed just 39 percent of patients classified as ‘urgent’ were seen on time at the Canberra Hospital emergency department.

“The situation is diabolical and ACT Health needs the government’s attention.”

A spokesman for Mr Corbell said there was no link between the ICU staffing problems and the cost of light rail and that in fact the health budget for this financial year was the largest ever at $1.5 billion.

He said ACT Health had already hired additional ICU nurses with the recruitment process to continue.

This advertisement for ICU nurses first appeared on Seek on October 8 with applications closing October 22.

 

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6 Responses to
Hospital staff woes ‘diabolical’: Hanson
Voice of Reason 7:51 am 27 Oct 15

Simon Corbell’s explanation that ICU staffing problems are caused by maternity leave shows the extent to which his health department is creatively briefing him. According to the Minister, gaps in the roster are being filled from a replacement pool of staff.

It’s pushing the boundaries to describe Level 4 nurses named on weekend rosters and agency staff at $100 per hour as coming “from a replacement pool”, but a good wordsmith can do that for you I suppose.

Seems the previous decree to save money at the expense of staff conditions and patient care has been turned on its head. Now they’re scrambling to fill every line on published rosters regardless of the cost of the desperate measures required to do so. Funny what a little scrutiny can do.

rosscoact 8:50 am 21 Oct 15

JimCharles said :

rosscoact said :

. Capital money and recurrent (operational) funding always come from different sources.

But still within the same Government unless they get external grants?
They are spending millions right now on that Emergency place, a big new building sprouting from the side of the old one.
It’s well known in Canberra that health money has been prioritised for capital projects over operational spending to maintain and look after it all, a lot of it is not very clever and just storing up problems for somebody else to fix when it hits the fan.

My understanding is that’s not the case. I’m sure there is a person on here that knows the exact workings of the ACT budget process and could explain it much better, but this is my understanding.

Capital funds come from capital sales and can only be spent on capital budget items. If you don’t spend capital funding money on capital items then you just don’t spend it, you cannot divert it to recurrent expenditure. Indeed to do so would be against all good financial management principles. It would be like using your equity in your house to buy groceries.

Capital expenditure by it’s nature usually and in the interests of fairness, should be paid off over a large number of years to spread the impact.

Recurrent income funds recurrent expenditure and needs to balance every year.

Is there somebody that knows the rules of ACT Treasury (who isn’t a paid mouthpiece for either party) that can clarify?

JimCharles 4:59 am 21 Oct 15

rosscoact said :

. Capital money and recurrent (operational) funding always come from different sources.

But still within the same Government unless they get external grants?
They are spending millions right now on that Emergency place, a big new building sprouting from the side of the old one.
It’s well known in Canberra that health money has been prioritised for capital projects over operational spending to maintain and look after it all, a lot of it is not very clever and just storing up problems for somebody else to fix when it hits the fan.

JC 9:10 pm 20 Oct 15

rosscoact said :

Perhaps Mr Hanson doesn’t understand how the budget works?

Either this or he does know how it all works and is trying to ramp up even more distaste for lighrail as he sees it as a political wedge.

In actual fact much like how every 6 months he carps on about Action bus dead running quoting the figure of 12,000km per day, which looks bad on the surface. Oh the cost, oh the waste, the hospitals the schools all missing out, bla bla bla.

But when you put the figure in context by dividing that figure by the number of buses in the fleet (roughly 420), you get less than 30km per bus per day, which is quite reasonable considering traffic is not symmetrical with more in bound buses in the AM peak and out bound in the afternoon. So run from depot to terminus 10km, then in service, then 10km to anther distant terminus it adds up and reasonable. To run said buses in service would cut down dead running, but increase the wage bill and number of buses required to run the service for little to no gain. But the headline just looks great.

rosscoact 2:50 pm 20 Oct 15

I’m not sure I follow your logic about the tram fixing hospital nurse shortages. I think they will remain separate issues. Capital money and recurrent (operational) funding always come from different sources.

Perhaps Mr Hanson doesn’t understand how the budget works?

henryans 12:39 pm 20 Oct 15

Dont worry Barr and co will fix it all with light rail. The green utopia we don’t need cars, roads or hospitals, we can go back to rubbing two sticks together to make the greens happy

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