St John of God undermining health standards in Ballarat

The Medical Scientists Association of Victoria (MSAV) is alarmed by a recent announcement by St John of God (SJoG) that the health provider will gut the current scientific workforce. SJoG is justifying sacking the medical scientific workforce by claiming that doing so will create a more sustainable business. This claim beggar’s belief given the explosion of demand at the hospital and that it has an emergency department, obstetrics and a large blood banking facility.

The Union is also extremely concerned that SJoG announced these sackings without first consulting with the union as it is required to do so under the enterprise bargaining agreement.

Adding insult to injury SJoG is claiming they can continue operating a full pathology laboratory despite these cuts being so deep that it is not possible for the laboratory to operate at the level necessary to support clinical services. Clearly this announcement will lead to declining standards of health care at the Hospital as the scientific workforce becomes overworked and stretched beyond capacity.

Pathology is used in the diagnosis of up to 80% of all cases in acute care settings, including cancer and infectious diseases.

This change is solely about SJoG’s financial bottom line and has clearly nothing to do with delivering world-class healthcare in Ballarat.

It is impossible to see how decimating this laboratory’s scientific workforce could not have major adverse impacts on the quality of health care delivered.

This move will further erode the capacity of the Hospital to deliver world-class healthcare and with the demand for health services exploding in Ballarat and the region, this move will have profound impacts on the delivery of the best possible care when people need it.

SJoG has delivered to Ballarat a huge slap in the face and is contributing to the erosion of much needed good quality jobs in the city.

SJoG is clearly unprepared to do the right thing by the community or MSAV members when they won’t even follow the mandated processes for announcing such undertakings. Here they are telling staff they’re sacked without first consulting the union or providing details of the impact of these massive changes.

When will the Hospital’s CEO and its Board stand up for the community and ensure the hospital continues to deliver world-class healthcare? If they’re not prepared to do that then we know they’re not interested in the long term health of Ballarat, it’s residents or the region.

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