From the announcement this morning that 2,754 jobs are to be cut from Queensland Health, the Liberal National Party government has blamed more than half of them on the previously bungled health payroll system project of the former Labor government.
Outlining the reform via a video address this morning, Queensland Minister for Health Lawrence Springborg said that the situation could have been much worse.
"Queensland Health was staring down the barrel of statewide FTE reductions of 4,142. But at the end of this process, that monetary target will be achieved, with an overall staff reduction of just 4 percent, or 2,754 FTE."
According to Springborg, the payroll system debacle has cost the state AU$150 million, this year alone, which directly translates to jobs that would have to be cut.
"On the figures from KPMG, a AU$150 million impost equates to 1,500 full-time positions. This is the same estimated number of over-establishment full-time staff employed in Queensland Hospital and Health Services at the change of government."
Springborg said priority would be given to abolishing vacant positions, accepting voluntary redundancies, and redeploying staff, but Shadow Health Minister Jo-Ann Miller said that it would be impossible to make so many staff redundant without affecting the quality of health services.
"You don't sack more than 2,700 people — including more than 1,500 from hospitals and health services — without sacking front-line staff, including nurses and doctors," she said in a statement.
The state only recently announced that it would cut 400 IT jobs in order to save AU$40,000 per hour.