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Nursing jobs axed, state opposition says

Hundreds of nursing jobs were cut in Sydney's west and north shore and the NSW central coast in the 12 months to June 2010, the state opposition says.

Freedom of Information documents have revealed 340 nursing jobs were shed by the Sydney West Area Health Service, including at Westmead Hospital.

A further 99 nursing positions were cut by Northern Sydney Central Coast Area Health Service, according to opposition health spokesman Jillian Skinner.

"(NSW Premier) Kristina Keneally has asked people to judge her on what she does; in this case she's cut 340 nurses from western Sydney, and families will judge her accordingly," Skinner said in a statement.

"It takes a special kind of incompetence from the government to cut nurse positions in the fastest growing region in NSW."

A spokesman for Skinner said the job cuts were made steadily in the 12 months to June 2010 but peaked towards the end of that period.

Skinner called for the jobs to be reinstated.

The state government said the hospitals affected are staffed appropriately.

"They are staffed appropriately," Health Minister Carmel Tebbutt told the Nine Network.

"There is a shortage of nurses and they are currently recruiting for nurses in Sydney's west as we are across the system as a whole."


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