Wounded by cut­back


Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Alison Bald­ing

CON­CERNS have again been raised for the fu­ture of Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal af­ter it was re­vealed six reg­is­tered nurses had been re­moved from the sur­gi­cal ros­ter.

The cuts come just months af­ter Health Min­is­ter Jil­lian Skin­ner promised to ex­pand the hos­pi­tal’s sur­gi­cal ward.

Se­nior sur­geon Richard Han­ney — who pre­vi­ously praised Ms Skin­ner’s pre­elec­tion plan — said he was “deeply con­cerned” by the de­ci­sion to re­move so much ex­pe­ri­ence from the ward.

He said he raised his con­cerns with man­age­ment.

“Six nurses are be­ing re­moved from the sur­gi­cal ward at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal, which I have not seen hap­pen in the past,” he said.

“It is very dis­ap­point­ing to see ser­vices at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal con­tin­u­ing to be cut in favour of Black­town Hos­pi­tal by ad­min­is­tra­tion based at Black­town.”

Black­town and Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal gen­eral manager Sue-Anne Red­mond said “nurs­ing ca­pac­ity at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal’s sur­gi­cal ward is in ex­cess of pa­tient re­quire­ments”.

“Two nurses have ac­cepted trans­fers to Black­town Hos­pi­tal to grow their clin­i­cal skills in ar­eas where de­mand is higher. Those who pre­ferred to re­main at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal will be placed in other clin­i­cal units,” Ms Red­mond said.

She said it was not un­usual for nurses to work be­tween both hos­pi­tals and said, if needed, staff would be given the op­por­tu­nity to re­turn to Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal.

“One of the key pri­or­ity ar­eas for Mt Druitt is sur­gi­cal ser­vices,” she said.

But hos­pi­tal vol­un­teer Mar­garet Thur­low said it was time the gov­ern­ment stopped us­ing nurses as po­lit­i­cal pawns.

“I can’t be­lieve they have done this when they are sup­posed to be build­ing the sur­gi­cal ward up,” she said.

“To say the nurses can re­turn later is ridicu­lous, that never hap­pens. Th­ese nurses de­serve bet­ter.

“They can’t speak out for them­selves but I know they feel down­trod­den by it.”

Mt Druitt La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla called on the gov­ern­ment to guar­an­tee it would not close the sur­gi­cal ward at Mt Druitt Hos­pi­tal, yet Ms Skin­ner de­scribed the sug­ges­tion as “far­ci­cal”.

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