SA Health puts the brakes on VSPs

23 March 2020

SA Health has postponed its voluntary separation packages plans due to the expected impact of COVID-19 on the health care system.

SA Health chief executive Dr Chris McGowan has confirmed to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) that he has directed Local Health Networks to “postpone the consideration of staff separations … until further notice where positions are required to help deal with the effects of COVID-19’’.

“This will support staffing requirements to respond to anticipated surges in demand related to the pandemic,’’ he wrote.  

Dr McGowan said the new direction does not apply where separation arrangements have already been entered into “and are irrevocable’’.
The response received on 22 March 2020 follows correspondence from ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM to the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Stephen Wade, last week, expressing concerns about the VSPs and their impact on staffing levels during the current pandemic crisis.