500+ pathology job cuts puts SA lives 'at risk'

20 July, 2015

The South Australian Health Department has announced it will slash more than 500 jobs at SA Pathology.

"This is a shocking blow to South Australia's health services," said Dale Beasley, Professionals Australia Organiser in South Australia.

"South Australians will bear the brunt of this massive cut to health services. These are short-term savings for the State Government when patients actually need better-resourced services.

"Patients now face lengthier waits for diagnosis, longer hospital stays, and poorer health outcomes.

"Some SA Pathology operations will be completely shut down as a result of these redundancies, further increasing workload pressures on the remaining workforce to deliver medical treatments and patient reports with inadequate resources

"Demand for health services and disease prevention is increasing, and that demand needs to be met.

"The Australian Government Institute of Health and Welfare reported South Australia's spend on diagnostic and allied health staff is already among the lowest in the country. Medical scientists provide expert health analysis that saves lives.

"The State Government is clearly not prepared to invest in high-skill industries for South Australia. SA Pathology is one of the most prominent science institutions in the State. With no other employment opportunities, we stand to lose our best and brightest interstate and overseas.

"Professional scientists drive innovation, collaboration and competitiveness. Australia cannot afford to fall behind on medical research. Losing experienced medical professionals will threaten our reputation and international standing.

"The State Government will not be able cater to deliver health services to the community by slashing professional expertise and research investment.

"Professionals Australia and its thousands of members in science and technology call on the Government to deliver a long-term plan for funding medical science in South Australia," said Beasley.