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50 health jobs facing the axe

FIFTY Queensland Health jobs will be cut across the Darling Downs over the next six months.

Darling Downs Health Service chief executive Dr Peter Bristow said they hoped to achieve the cuts through natural attrition.

"There are 4865 people working for the (health) service in the region at the moment and normally 40-60 people leave in an average month," Dr Bristow said.

As a person leaves, the directors will assess whether their position needs refilling and if not, they will count towards the 50.

Dr Bristow said no specific services would be targeted, and if 50 people had not resigned by the March cut off, they would reassess their approach.

"In regards to Warwick, they are adopting the same approach throughout the district and not targeting any particular group," he said.

"We will review this on a month-by-month basis but at this stage my expectations are that we will achieve it through this natural attrition process."

When asked about the effect these cuts could have on the already stretched staffing numbers, Dr Bristow said Queensland Health would strive to continue to deliver frontline services.

"Although we might have to lose 50, from July 2007, we have grown by 517 so we have gained more than we have to lose," he said.

Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced the major restructure yesterday that will include a total of 2745 job losses across the state.

Of that, 1217 will be from corporate office and 1537 from hospital and health services.

A PowerPoint presentation shown to employees stated the department would also look into outsourcing and partnering with the private sector.

In human resources, 160 positions will go, in finance 68 will be cut and two positions will be cut from the department's legal branch.

In governance, 10 staff will lose their jobs as will 23 in the health infrastructure office.

Staff have been told they will be consulted with next week.

Mr Springborg said the hospital and health boards - 15 across Queensland - had a "broad understanding" they needed to address employee expenses.

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle was waiting for details from the Queensland Health Director-General on where cuts would occur.

"I think there is going to be months and months of uncertainty and cause even more stress to our members," Ms Mohle said.

Topics:  job cuts, lawrence springborg, queensland health


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