HBW should note that we support hospital and medical streamlining, no matter who does it. We're aware of widespread malfeasance by hospital and medical staff and wastage of supplies and materials - both indirectly and via voluminous examples sent to HBW by Queensland Health Staff. The Beattie/Bligh government did nothing about it for years. But indiscriminate axe-swinging by political puppets is no better, especially when we're faced with a new hospital building next year that we're clearly unprepared to staff.
With surprising lack of hysterical shrieking, John MacKenzie soft-pedaled the Cairns Base Hospital cuts during the first hour of his show today - with many believing he hadn't yet been instructed on who would be vilified as the "bad guys".
However, by 10:45 AM he had lined up those involved in the situation to speak (however no one from the ALP). But after an hour of various parties yammering, the public was less-inforrmed than before.
First up was the Chair of the Hospital Board (keep in mind an appointed, political body for which the public had NO say), "UnSir" Bob Norman. Norman claimed that there were no cuts to "clinical staff" and then he went on to say that the "reorganisation" would get clinical staff doing "administrative services" "back on the front line". He then reiterated that there are nurses that are in administrative positions and said "we're going to get those people back into nursing positions".
Bob, you're cutting 234 positions - moving people into different positions aren't cuts!
Asked for and example of the kind of work that would no longer be done, Norman yammered and stammered, stumbled and mumbled, claimed he couldn't "go into detail", and then said "I can give you one example that has been given". His example? Previously we were printing all the pathology results and staff (not necessarily nursing staff) were spending two hours every day filing these results in patient charts. Results that apparently are also stored electronically.
Norman then beamed "not only do we save on printing costs, but we save on two hours staff every day filing those results". Pussycat MacKenzie rolled over like a dead dugong instead of questioning this extreme level of stupidity.
That's all ya' got, Bob? After this so-called extensive "review of operations", all you can give us is two measly hours staff time saved? You don't remember anything from the Ernst and Young review you paid $$$$$$.$$ for? A more pathetic performance we can hardly remember from anyone at the hospital - and this is the guy "in charge" of the second largest business in Cairns? He couldn't run his Cold Rock ice creamery for a year before going under. You're a joke, UnSir Bob.
Then Dr. Sandy Donald, a doctor at the hospital, first confirmed a huge bed shortfall over this past weekend that resulted in cancellation of surgical services on Monday. This was important because this is the environment that these cuts are being made in. Dr. Donald confirmed that the secrecy and lack of consultation by the inexperienced hospital board has been stunning, with no evaluation of the impact on services.
Then of course we hear last from the Member for MacKenzie, Gavin "Don't Rape Me" King. He did his usual "Pollie 2-Step" - put the blame on the Hospital Board and ALP, with special spin put on Wayne Swan.
Oddly, just earlier this week Federal Minister of the Blogosphere Warren Entsch made a case for Cairns to be given more and special funding to handle the increasing number of bed-occupants from PNG and other non-Australian areas. Federal LNP pushing for increased funding, state LNP stripping money from our hospital.
But the political advantage to be gained in this issue by everyone is too great to stop the spin. Frankly, we know less now that we knew yesterday.
JUST IN: THE QUEENSLAND NURSES' UNION HAS ADVISED THAT "NURSES AND MIDWIVES ARE NOW RECEIVING PHONECALLS FROM CAIRNS AND HINTERLAND HHS NOTIFYING THEM THEY ARE REQUIRED TO ATTEND ONE-ON-ONE MEETINGS TODAY OR TOMORROW TO DISCUSS THEIR EMPLOYMENT FUTURE".
QNU has suggested NO nurse attend alone, and that they demand their QNU representative to be with them.