- Disability service provider Novita Children’s Services has announced plans to establish four key service hubs across regional South Australia.
- HIV advocacy organisation Positive Life SA will be forced to shut its doors in July because its State Government funding has been cut.
- Tasmania’s health department has defended offering a public hospital worker just $7,500 as an incentive to leave her job after 40 years of service.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 8TH May 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
Disability service provider Novita Children’s Services has announced plans to establish four key service hubs across regional South Australia.
Mt Gambier, Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Berri have been identified as four target areas to develop.
The not-for-profit organisation said the move was part of a strategy designed to deliver more services to more of the state’s children and their families.
It also aims to position the organisation as a proactive industry leader.
Novita is looking to partner with therapists and practitioners across regional South Australia.
It aims to establish the hubs ready for the full rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on July 1 next year.
HIV advocacy organisation Positive Life SA will be forced to shut its doors in July because its State Government funding has been cut.
The group has been funded for the past six years but SA Health has now awarded the service contract to a partnership between the Victorian AIDS Council and SHine SA.
Positive Life SA executive officer Rob O’Brien said five staff and 23 volunteers would be out of work when the funding ceased.
The organisation represents up to 1,200 people who are HIV positive.
“The people that we have here trust us, they know us, we know them. That’s going to be fairly irreplaceable certainly in the short term,” Mr O’Brien said.
“People who have said, ‘it’s taken me many years to trust you mob, now I have to go and do it for another organisation and I just won’t’.”
SA Health chief medical officer Paddy Phillips said he was sorry Positive Life was unsuccessful in receiving a new contract but said proper processes had been followed.
“Our aim is to get the best possible service for the best possible value,” Mr Phillips said.
He said there was a plan to transition from Positive Life to the new providers.
Dignity for Disability representative and SA MLC Kelly Vincent told Parliament that Positive Life SA was a more local option than the successful bidder.
“On the outset it is not to say the Victorian Council does not do a good job, but they certainly do not seem to be local,” she said.
“They don’t appear to be community based in the same way that Positive Life has been to date,” Ms Vincent said.
Tasmania’s health department has defended offering a public hospital worker just $7,500 as an incentive to leave her job after 40 years of service.
The Government is offering incentives to workers to retire early as part of its push to shed 821 public service positions by June.
When Sue Evans decided to put her hand up after working as a ward clerk at the Royal Hobart Hospital since 1977, she was offered $7,500.
Ms Evans said she was shocked and disappointed by her treatment.
“It was unprofessional, disrespectful, completely, completely wrong,” she said.
Under the Workforce Renewal Incentive Program, public servants with more than 10 years service are entitled to $15,000-$30,000 or 30 per cent of their annual wage.
The acting chief executive of Tasmanian Health Organisation (THO) South, Craig Watson, said the department increased its offer to $15,000 in December to achieve a mutually acceptable offer which was taken by Ms Evans.
Opposition health spokeswoman Rebecca White said she believed Ms Evans was short-changed by the department’s initial decision to offer the lowest option.
“My concern is there might be other low-paid workers in the Tasmanian health system who are being offered sums well below what their worth to leave the public health system,” she said.
In March, the Government was accused of allowing rorting of the system after a senior health bureaucratreceived a redundancy after being moved into a short-term position.
The bureaucrat was cleared of any wrongdoing but a review found the case exposed the department to “questions of consistency and transparency”.
An audit is underway of payouts across the public service.
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