Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today SA Health executives had confirmed they had to implement annual savings of $396 million by 2014.
SA Health CEO David Swan told the Legislative Council Budget and Finance Committee:
Rob Lucas: “So in essence what you’re looking at is $396 million by the end of the forward estimates period – you are saying to this committee you have already taken decisions and implemented about $115 million, so you are still looking for another $281 million worth of permanent ongoing savings on an annual basis.
David Swan: “That’s Correct.”
“Put simply, SA Health has to implement another $281 million in annual savings over and above those already implemented and advised to the public,” Mr Lucas said.
“There has already been considerable public anger at the cuts already implemented and announced such as funding cuts to Keith Hospital and the Eating Disorder Unit at Flinders University.
“Whilst this year’s budget papers only show required annual savings of $25-30 million, Mr. Swan indicated the $396 million annual figure was the real figure as it included accumulated savings tasks from previous budgets.
“This is yet another example of the Labor Government’s political spin as the Sustainable Budget Commission had recommended the real accumulated savings for all agencies should be reported rather than just the latest year’s target.
“Mr. Swan also reported to the Committee that, based on unaudited May figures, Health SA Health had again overspent its budget for 2010-11 by almost $110 million and that as at 30 June 2011 it had 86 surplus employees within the agency.”