Doctors in New South Wales are angry at a proposal to cut back on surgery so budget overruns can be saved. Gerard Carroll, spokesman for the medical staff council at Wagga Base Hospital, says that the suggestion has officially been made to halt elective surgery every fourth Friday.
"So it'd create a long weekend every four weekends. This would be to save a relatively small amount of money but at great cost to patient care," he said. "It would cause waiting lists to blow out. It would affect our ability to train registrars and provide them with adequate lists. It would affect our ability to teach and most importantly it would contribute to bed-block." He added that after stringent objection by doctors, that plan was being dropped in this hospital, but he could not vouch for other hospitals in the greater southern region. The merger of Greater Murray and Southern Area Health Services, which took place last year was a complete failure, he alleged. "I don't think any money whatsoever has come back into the provision of clinical services and the whole ... validity, the whole concept of this amalgamation has to be brought into question," he said. "Wagga Base Hospital, which has a budget of $60 million doesn't have a human resource department, it doesn't have a pay office. If any sort of medico or nurse [have] to do with those things, they have to ring a faceless person in Queanbeyan."