The Iemma Government fiscal madness continues and it is not only the nurses' union that need answers.
It has been reported that six beds are being removed from daily use at both Grafton and Maclean hospitals. Less nurses will be on duty during each shift.
The NSW North Coast already sees specialist services concentrated in two of the larger hospitals with little or no specialist services or full-time medical staff available at the smaller hospitals.
Local communities often experience these hospitals trying to discharge elderly patients early, often to highly inappropriate home circumstances.
This new policy has the potential to see unnecessary deaths occurring at home, because criteria for admission is based on annual budgets rather than the community's need.
North Coast communities deserve an adequate health service and an honest explanation as to why a second-class service is being perpetuated.
The Daily Examiner yesterday reported the NSW Nurses Association as saying that North Coast Area Health Service documents show that this service expects to save an estimated $253,000 at every public hospital implementing the 'surge bed' regime.
It also reported the association as stating that no additional resources have been put into community health so it could cope with the extra demand created by those who were discharged from hospital early under this policy.