State Budget 2019-20: Staffing Cuts, Cost Cuts And Nothing To Address Hospital Demand

19 June 2019

The ANMF (SA Branch) is deeply concerned about the impact of the State Budget on South Australia’s nursing and midwifery workforce and the community it serves.

Addressing media outside today’s 2019-20 State Budget presentation, ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM labelled the budget a “pea-and-thimble trick”.

“When it comes to health, the Government is doing little more than shifting state and federal funds around to present a ‘pea-and-thimble-trick’ budget,” Ms Dabars says.

“The $169 million cut to health in this state budget almost entirely absorbs the $165 million in funding promised by the Federal Government. So, no sooner has the Federal Government put money into our health system, the State Government takes it out again. Where does this leave people who are already waiting hours at our public hospitals?”

Ms Dabars says the Budget does nothing to address the unmet demand plaguing State hospitals.

“People ramped outside hospitals in ambulances and inside waiting for beds are not helped by this budget.”

She says severe cuts to the Central Adelaide Local Health Network remain, as per last year’s budget, but without any clear plan as to how these savings will be achieved.

“We know South Australia’s largest Local Health Network is set to lose $198 million but we’re yet to see any plans as to how this will be implemented.”

While the ANMF (SA Branch) welcomes $550 million to partially fund the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital, concerns remain around where this money will come from within an already tight health budget.

“While an allocation of $550 million for a new hospital is welcome news, without additional funding for health, what are we losing in our health system to offset the cost of this new-build?”