Inaction on security and at the Lismore are Hospital has led to workers from Lismore Base Hospital today imposing bans on the processing of payments for Medicare and private health insurance claims by the Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWLHD).
This action will not affect payments to patients, and will not affect surgical services, but will delay the flow of funds from those services to the state government.
HSU NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes today said workers were enforcing the bans in response to the NNSWLHD’s failure to provide any additional security staff following a number of serious security incidents at the hospital.
‘There is a clear and urgent need to improve safety and security at Lismore Base Hospital,’ Mr Hayes said.
‘Despite this, hospital management have advised they will only provide one additional licensed wardsperson on the night shift, and will not consider any further steps until the completion of internal reviews and inquiries next year.
‘This is nothing like the extra dedicated security resources that are needed.
‘While we support the reviews, and the need to examine these issues closely, this process should not be used as an excuse for doing nothing.
‘Kicking the can down the road is not an adequate response. We need to address the significant security problems at Lismore Base Hospital right now.’
Mr Hayes reiterated the HSU call for additional security guards to be deployed across the hospital.
‘We need to have at least two security guards on general duties at the hospital 24/7.
‘There also needs to be a permanent security presence at the Emergency Department and the Mental Health Unit.
‘These steps can and must be taken as a temporary solution until the state government’s reviews have been completed, and permanent solutions are found.’