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Bleeding Regional SA Dry – Cuts to SA Pathology Jobs

The announcement of job cuts to SA Pathology will come back to bite the government on the bum, according to Dignity for Disability’s MLC Kelly Vincent.

SA Pathology services has seen a number of changes and the service has already been the subject of extensive staff ‘rationalisation’.

“It’s time for the government to value the quality and cost-effective contribution of the staff at SA Pathology to the public health sector.  I am not persuaded that the proposed job cuts will achieve this, and I remain concerned at the impact on morale within the organisation,” says Kelly Vincent.

“Dignity for Disability are deeply concerned that any cutbacks to the existing public pathology services in rural and regional South Australia will have a significant impact on a population who are already facing many higher costs and who will not have alternative services available if SA Pathology ceases local operation.

“I understand that at present, although many specimens are ultimately sent to Frome Road for analysis, it is the vital role of the existing free pathology collection that needs to remain in these areas.

“Dignity for Disability understand that the local collection of specimens was overlooked in the report which focussed instead on the role of Frome Road in analysing and did not take into account that rural patients just cannot be serviced for collection in metropolitan Adelaide.

“With about a quarter of the total of SA Pathology’s revenue being generated by the regional pathology services, the impact on the viability of the overall organisation must be considered if regional services were to be privatised.  This makes a nonsense of the current move to slash jobs.

“I believe that due to the nuances of the bulk-billing arrangements for pathology services through Medicare in Accident and Emergency Departments in country areas mean that although the pathology is mostly private, it is bulk-billed.

“I have specific concerns about the impact on residents of the APY Lands should there be wholesale privatisation of the regional pathology services,” said Ms Vincent.