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Tasmania jobs on the line

One hundred staff faces the sack at RHH: Wilkie

Up to 100 doctors and nurses at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) face the sack because of Tasmanian government budget cuts, federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie says.

In the state budget earlier this year, the government unveiled plans to cut $110 million from the health budget in the 2011-12 financial year.

The RHH has been asked to find $38.5 million of savings this year, while two hospitals in the state's north will have their budgets cut by a total $27 million, the ABC reported last Thursday.
Wilkie said the cuts would be devastating for Hobart.

"The sort of savings it has to now make will potentially cost up to 100 jobs in a hospital that is already struggling to meet demand," he told reporters on Thursday.

"It's easy to come to places like this and slice great big sections off the budget, it's easy for politicians to do, but it's a complete abandonment of their responsibility to focus on the public interest."

Rebuilding the ageing hospital was a key plank in the agreement struck between Wilkie and Prime Minister Julia Gillard in return for his support of the Labor minority government.

Wilkie said he was confident the rebuilding of the hospital would go ahead, but said he had concerns about whether new wards would be properly staffed.

"I've done my part by getting a third of a billion dollars to help build the infrastructure, I'm now calling on the government to do its part to staff that infrastructure," he said.

"It's not a case of one or the other. We need both."


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