Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg says a focus on local efficiency could see jobs lost as local hospital boards gain power over staffing.
Queensland’s health minister has conceded jobs could be lost as local health boards gain control of staffing from a centralised bureaucracy.
From July 1, eight of the state’s 16 regional Hospital and Health Services (HHS) boards will take control of staffing from Queensland Health.
The other eight HHS boards will gain staffing control in July 2015.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said the transfer of staffing power from Queensland Health to local health and hospital boards could lead to job losses in the department.
“That’s the simple reality. I think everyone understands those sorts of things,” he told ABC Radio on Monday.
“As you put more of the focus into efficient management at a local level, there’s ultimately going to be transfer of some of those resources as well, and positions may not ultimately be needed.”
The government established the HHS boards in July 2012 in a bid to decentralise the health bureaucracy.
From July, three HHS boards take ownership of land and buildings.
Another six boards will own these assets in December, with the remaining seven HHS boards taking control of infrastructure from July 2015.
Opposition health spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller said Mr Springborg was shirking his portfolio responsibilities by offloading them to health boards.
“Make no mistake, the Newman government is trying to dodge responsibility for cuts to the health service, responsibility for its management and the possible future sale of assets,” she said.
“We see a health minister who is running scared from the health portfolio and becoming the minister for buck passing.”
The state’s public sector union estimates thousands more jobs could go in health.
“All that will change is how the government defines the jobs it cuts – not that jobs will be cut,” Together Union secretary Alex Scott said.
“They cut jobs in health and then redefine them to say they weren’t frontline services.”