Tears flow over axed health jobs
PATHOLOGY workers wept at Maryborough Hospital after learning their jobs were to go and an angry crowd of the sacked and saddened gathered in the heart of the Heritage City at dusk yesterday to protest against the assault on local jobs and lives by the Newman government.
"I AM devastated," Maree Wyllie said after hearing the news that her 23-year career dedicated to the Maryborough pathology unit is likely to end before Christmas.
Ms Wyllie, Maxine Coburn, Jeanette Vary and their three colleagues from the pathology unit sat down with their Brisbane bosses yesterday morning to hear the news that they were all to be transferred or offered voluntary redundancy.
Mrs Coburn has spent a quarter of a century at the unit after joining the hospital in 1969.
Two other unnamed colleagues have both spent the past 35 years in pathology.
Mrs Vary was the newest staff member with 13 years at the unit.
Hours after learning their positions were gone, the women joined ambulance officers, nurses and other health staff to protest job cuts outside Maryborough Base Hospital.
"Do we sell our homes and move?" Mrs Vary said.
Mrs Wyllie said they had two weeks to leave Queensland Health if they accepted a voluntary redundancy payment.
"That only lasts so long," she said.
She labelled the loss of herself and her long-time colleagues as a dangerous cut to Maryborough health services.
"In a town this size, you need this service," she said.
Her colleague, Mrs Vary, warned turn-around times for test results would blow out with the extra workload being put on to Hervey Bay pathology services.
"They are overworked as it is," she said.
"The patients are the ones that will suffer. These are very sick people we are talking about."
Maryborough pathology services about 600 patients a month, including hospital patients and patients from the community.
Together Union regional organiser Ron Fossen said yesterday they had been told all microbiology pathology tests would now be done out of Brisbane.
Pathology job losses
The six people who have lost their jobs at Maryborough Hospital pathology unit are among the 1217 positions being cut from Queensland Health's corporate office.
A further 1537 positions are expected to be cut from services managed by the hospital and health boards across the state, including Wide Bay.