400 health jobs to go

ONE hundred jobs will be axed immediately from North Coast Area Health, with 59 going from hospitals across the Northern Rivers, documents obtained by The Northern Star reveal.

Late last night North Coast Area Health service chief executive Chris Crawford confirmed the job cuts and said another 100 will be announced soon.

About 150-odd non-front line positions have already been axed in August/September.

In total 400 positions will be slashed from the 6000-strong North Coast Area Health Service, Mr Crawford said.

“We can deliver the same level of staffing with less staff,” he said. “We will not be using as many casuals or permanent part-time staff who work above their contracted hours.”

Mr Crawford said no full-time staff would lose their jobs.

“It is positions that are being deleted, not staff.”

The vast majority of positions to be 'deleted' in this round are nurses in life-saving areas such as intensive care, theatres, oncology and renal care.

Mr Crawford said he was still considering cuts to nursing staff at emergency departments at Lismore Base Hospital, Ballina and Casino.

No details of how these cuts might affect the Grafton and Maclean hospitals were available last night.

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