The Ballarat Subdivision of the Australian Medical Association would like to express our serious concerns about the planned Federal Government funding cuts of $2.8M to Ballarat Health Services (BHS).
This reduction represents approximately one per cent of the annual operating budget of BHS (figures from the 2011 Annual Report). A significant impact on patient services is unavoidable.
Based on projected Victorian figures, which predict up to 20,000 Victorian elective surgical patients not being able to have their surgery performed in the remainder of this financial year, we could expect up to 600 surgical patients to be affected in Ballarat .
Impacts on staffing levels and ward functions are being evaluated by the BHS senior management, and it would seem that further loss of other services are highly likely.
We are currently experiencing peak demand for patient services in Ballarat at both hospitals, and the logic of an unannounced budget cut mid-way through the financial year to our local public health service is very hard to understand. BHS is our only local public hospital and provides essential services for acute, subacute and long-term care patients.
The AMA opposes this funding reduction and our doctors in the Ballarat Subdivision urge the Federal Government to restore the promised funding to enable BHS to provide much needed services through the remainder of this financial year.
DR ANDREW DEAN
on behalf of
DR ADAM STRAUB
The Ballarat Subdivision of the Australian Medical Association