Concern over proposed cuts to medical imaging staff

Labor MPs are concerned over proposed cuts to medical imaging staff

Central Coast Local Health District (CCLHD) says medical imaging services continue unaffected, despite criticisms from the region’s Labor MPs that services at both Gosford and Wyong hospitals are facing staffing cuts.

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch, said the NSW Government is looking to cut four and a half full-time positions in medical imaging services at the hospitals, despite increased demand and the provision of new medical equipment that requires more staff.

“This means longer wait-times and increased stress for our healthcare staff who provide vital services such as X-rays, ultrasounds, MRI scans and CT scans,” she said.

Tesch said she has met with concerned health professionals who are members of the Health Services Union to discuss these concerns.

“It is absurd that the Government has decided after over a decade of neglect to fund top-of-the-line medical equipment while also deciding to cut staff who are needed to operate the new equipment,” she said.

“Already I am hearing frustrating reports of high category patients turned away from our public health system after waiting two weeks or more and made to visit private radiotherapy centres that can cost upwards of thousands of dollars.

“How can our health professional be able to care for the coast if we are removing that support?”

Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley, said health staff were already being pushed to breaking point.

“The last thing they need is more cuts,” she said.

“Coasties deserve a health system with safe staffing levels for patients and health care workers.”

Member for Wyong, David Harris, said there is a risk to patients when frontline staff are cut, especially when there is already massive pressure on our hospital system.

The proposals are currently being negotiated between the Government and the Health Services Union after being firmly rejected by members, with a petition made against the cuts.

Chief Executive, Scott McLachlan, confirmed CCLHD is currently engaged in a consultation process with staff and the Health Services Union to discuss proposed changes to the rostering and structure of its medical imaging department, in order to “better meet the needs of staff and patients”.

“Importantly, medical imaging services in CCLHD continue unaffected and patients in the community will continue to access the imaging tests they need at Gosford and Wyong hospitals,” he said.

Terry Collins