Nurses the meat in funding cut sandwich
NURSES have been forced to hand out meals at St Vincent’s Hospital.
The Nurses and Midwives Association has made a formal complaint, claiming nurses agreed only because patients would not have been fed.
“Nurses in emergency are more worried about whether someone gets a sandwich than frontline care,” said union organiser Matthew Doherty. And, while the union claims the Darlinghurst hospital has a staff shortage equivalent to 77 full-time nurses, management this week sat down with a pile of applications for voluntary redundancies to work out which staff can go.
Management is cutting costs across the board after recent changes to heart and lung treatment funding took a heavy toll on the hospital’s bottom line. Hospital management refused to reveal how many staff would go in the latest round of redundancies but CEO Anthony Schembri was “very confident” the cuts wouldn’t jeopardise safety.
A St Vincent’s manager, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “If they get rid of cleaners, food services or the ward assistants responsible for moving patients around, those jobs will fall to nurses.”