Staff at the South East Regional Hospital are constantly tired and disillusioned with the management at the facility, a union delegate has said.
The comments were made on September 14, when about 45 hospital workers walked off the job to demand more staff after reports of chronic staff shortages at the $187million facility.
Heath Services Union delegate Grant Bryant, who is employed in radiology at the hospital, said it was a struggle to work in conditions where there was no time to recuperate.
“It’s not a matter of coping, it’s a matter of getting on with it,” he said.
“There’s no down time to relax.
“You wonder about people’s abilities to form examinations time and time again when they are constantly tired.”
Mr Bryant said staff at the hospital were disillusioned with the facility’s management.
“It’s pretty appalling, the mood is so low,” he said.
“There is a lack of trust between the management and the staff.”
As the new hospital has expanded services, Mr Bryant said they have seen an increase in patient numbers over what was experienced at the former Bega hospital.
Due to the number of tourists who visit the region over January and February he was concerned the workload would become unsustainable.
HSU member Matt Pritchard, who works in community mental health drug and alcohol at the hospital, said he attended the rally to raise awareness of ongoing staffing issues at the facility.
He said there was a shortfall of 2.7 full time equivalent positions in his team overall.
Mr Pritchard said if one member of the team went on leave, there was no-one to replace them.
“This puts additional pressure on an already overworked team,” he said.
To fix the problems at the hospital, Mr Bryant said more staff needed to be hired and management should listen to the concerns of the workers.
Also, Member for Bega Andrew Constance should push for more funding to the hospital and NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner “must go”, he said.
“Andrew Constance is absent in all of this and it’s disgraceful; he needs to be fighting for these issues with us,” Mr Bryant said at the rally.
Mr Constance did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.