MEDIA RELEASE: 11 November 2016
The announcement by the Government to cut 278 SA Pathology jobs in response to a taxpayer funded $453,158 Ernst & Young review completed in 2014 will have detrimental impacts to the delivery of health services in South Australia.
SA Pathology should be looking to recruit medical scientists and technical officers, not cut them; Medical science professionals deliver cost savings through innovation gains and positive health outcomes.
“The decision to gut SA Pathology like this is short-minded and fails to properly consider the indirect consequences of a watered-down medical science capacity,” said Professionals Australia SA Director, Sarah Andrews.
“The Government is playing a dangerous game and has decided to gamble with the health of ordinary South Australians.
“Our members provide a vital service to the health of South Australians, and these cuts will be at the detriment of public health; SA Pathology is a key public health service, and needs to be treated as such.”
The proposed model for SA Pathology outlines cutting 278 staff in the first round and implementing new operating practices at ‘core’ metropolitan laboratories, seeing operating hours extend to 24 hours, 7 days a week.
Some sites are facing lay-offs of up to 50% of medical scientists, which will heavily impact the operating practices of those locations.
“Medical science is the backbone of SA Pathology, without medical scientists and technical officers, SA Pathology cannot operate,” said Ms Andrews
“For a long time our members have reported facing increasing workloads with fewer resources, compounded by recruitment freezes, poor career progression opportunities and a lack of recognition within the health sector.”
Pathology is involved in up to 70% of medical treatment decisions and that 60% of Australians will require pathology services at least once a year, demonstrating that medical science capability is core to the delivery of an efficient, functioning health service.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ashley Burmeister | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0401 376 636
Professionals Australia is the association representing medical scientists and technical officers at SA Pathology. It represents more than 23,000 technical professionals throughout Australia.