• SA Health have confirmed 332 jobs will go from SA Pathology over the next three years in South Australia as they will implement five of six recommendations from an independent performance and efficiency review and says savings of $42.2 million are expected as a result.
• Nurse Miriam Down faces losing her home under the proceeds of crime law but says she was only growing cannabis to treat her mentally ill son who suffers from bipolar disorder, not to make money.
• Bendigo Health managers are starting to plan for what will be a complicated transition into the city’s new hospital as the $630 million facility is due to be built by the end of next year.
Health News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 20th July 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.
Health authorities have confirmed 332 jobs will go from SA Pathology over the next three years in South Australia.
SA Health will implement five of six recommendations from an independent performance and efficiency review and says savings of $42.2 million are expected as a result.
The health agency’s CEO David Swan said services would be streamlined to boost the focus on core pathology services.
He said the review found pathology services were safe and of high standard.
“As we announced in December 2014, the review also highlighted that overall efficiency of SA Pathology is significantly less than interstate and relevant international peers,” he said.
“By accepting these recommendations, we are ensuring SA Pathology will deliver efficient and high-quality pathology services to the South Australian community.”
Ernst and Young’s independent report found SA Pathology’s cost of providing public diagnostic services was 126 per cent of the Medicare benefits schedule and that was well above the industry-accepted benchmark of 85 per cent or less.
The South Australian Government ruled out earlier in the year the report’s other recommendation — privatising pathology services in regional areas.
It said 240 jobs in regional SA communities would be maintained.
A 74-year-old Perth woman faces losing her home under the proceeds of crime law but says she was only growing cannabis to treat her mentally ill son, not to make money.
Nurse Miriam Down said she began treating her 44-year-old son George, who suffers from bipolar disorder, with cannabis several years ago.
She said the drug has significantly improved George’s previously violent behaviour and allowed her to feel safe.
After it became too expensive to buy, she allegedly began growing cannabis in her backyard.
Ms Down has now been charged with possessing and cultivating the drug with the intent to sell or supply.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has applied to freeze her assets, including her Bayswater home valued at around $900,000, under the proceeds of crime laws.
Her case attracted attention after she wrote a letter to The West Australian newspaper describing her plight.
Bendigo Health managers are starting to plan for what will be a complicated transition into the city’s new hospital.
The $630 million facility is due to be built by the end of next year and chairman Bob Cameron [recently] led a tour … of the new kitchen.
He said the project was on time and on budget.
“The construction will be finished at the end of next year and then in the few months after that there will be the transition and there is an enormous amount of work going on within the hospital as to how that transition will take place,” he said.
Bendigo Health’s chief executive, John Mulder, said the future of some of the old hospital buildings was also under consideration.
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