Media release from the Shadow Minister for Health, Bill Yan:
What will it take for the Chief Minister to understand the impact that crime is having on our economy, the Territory’s budget and the ability for her Labor Government to deliver on essential services.
Shadow Minister for Health today said that “In a bid to again ignore the crime crisis in Alice Springs, the large amount of healthcare professionals positions vacant according to the Chief Minister were put down to ‘seasonal issues’.”
“This is despite a bus being put in place to be able to get to and from the hospital to their accommodation safely, after concerns being raised and violent incidents occurring.”
“Of the 180 full time nurse and midwife positions in the Territory, 111 of these are in Central Australia, that’s 62%, of course crime is a big part of that” he said.
“Worryingly today we learned that the Territory has a 15% attrition rate for Healthcare staff meaning Territorians are missing out on the care they need when they need it, due to staff vacancies.”
“Questions in relation to the safety at our hospitals or the impact on attrition on vital health positions across the Territory were again met with her favourite excuse, accusing the Opposition of talking the Territory down.” he said.
Mr Yan said the Opposition also discovered that “The Labor Government’s inability to keep up with the demand for Aged Care beds is putting the Territory’s Top End hospitals in to Code Yellows.”
“Natasha Fyles after admitting that Aged Care patients are taking up hospital beds said ‘these people have nowhere to go’.
The Opposition this afternoon has uncovered:
- 8 Code Yellows have happened in the past financial year to today.
- Natasha Fyles could not name how many days this equated to.
- Natasha Fyles could not name how many surgeries had been deferred.
- Natasha Fyles did not know how many evacuees had to be taken from CNR to Darwin or Palmerton Hospital.
- Natasha Fyles did not know how many times Police had been called to each Territory hospital this year.
- 458 reports of verbal and physical abuse towards hospital staff.
- The Territory has a 15% healthcare staff attribution rate.
- Natasha Fyles failed to acknowledge crime was playing a significant role in losing our healthcare staff and not being able to attract staff.
- Natasha Fyles did not know how many specialist positions were vacant, despite the ongoing reports and media about Territorians having to go interstate for many specialist procedures.
- $27 million was spent on overtime hours in health across the Territory, for the financial year to March 30.
- This is $7million on the overtime spend increase on the previous year, and set to increase once the final financial year figures are recorded.