SURGERY and staff hours will be reduced at Portland District Health until July following a $257,000 budget cut by the Federal Government.
PDH announced last week public hip and knee joint replacement surgery will be unavailable from March 1 until July, and no surgery will take place for two weeks during the Easter holiday break, affecting waiting times.
Review of pay rates, a small reduction in hours across the hospital and reduction in air travel for surgical staff will be a part of the savings.
State-wide, $107 million is being cut from hospital budgets as part of the Federal Government’s mid-year economic update.
Newly appointed chief executive officer Christine Giles said the hospital has done everything it can to minimise the impact on clinical services.
Currently the hospital has a six-month waiting list for elective surgeries, but Ms Giles says it will grow.
“We still feel confident our waiting times will stay within the target set by the department… we’ll be keeping it under one year anyway,” Ms Giles said.
Read more in Friday’s Portland Observer.