A round of up to 100 voluntary redundancies at Melbourne Health is bound to worsen staff workloads and could increase patient waiting times says the VHPA.

Announced by Melbourne Health management last week, the redundancy plan is designed to save $8 million by reducing staff numbers.

There is no suggestion by Melbourne Health management that there will be a corresponding decrease in the number of patients or services provided.

This can only mean an increase in workload for those people that remain.

The staff cuts come as media reports show nearly 3,000 patients are waiting for elective surgery at Royal Melbourne Hospital and paramedics face long delays in handing over patients to the hospital’s emergency department.

“Many Health Professionals are already experiencing high levels of stress and we are very concerned this move will worsen workloads and could undermine the quality of care provided to patients,” said VHPA Secretary Craig McGregor.

The VHPA has already been in touch with Melbourne Health members and understands very few Health Professionals are interested in the redundancy offer.

The voluntary departure package includes four weeks of pay, a lump sum incentive of up to $10,000 and two weeks of pay per year of service up to a maximum of 15 years. Employees who opt for the package are prevented from working in the public sector for three years.

“Members are strongly advised to contact VHPA Member Assist if they are considering taking a redundancy,” said Linda Jenkin, VHPA Lead Organiser.

“We will be continuing to contact Melbourne Health members and holding meetings as they are needed over the next few weeks.”

>>  Royal Melbourne Hospital jobs on the line – The Age