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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1588

(Question No. 86)


Senator Macklin asked the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, upon notice, on 20 March 1985:

(1) What is the current establishment and how many staff are actually employed at the Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes, Queensland.

(2) How many staff positions are vacant at the Greenslopes Hospital and how long have these positions been vacant.

(3) Why was it considered necessary to reduce the number of beds in Ward 14 at the Greenslopes Hospital from 30 to 20 when there is still such a large number of veterans requiring psychiatric specialist treatment.


Senator Gietzelt —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The establishment for the Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes at 1 April 1985 was 1235 full-time positions while the staffing was 1170 full-time and 105 part-time operative staff (which equates to 65 full-time). It should be noted that the 1170 full-time staff include 191 supernumerary staff employed without establishment cover. A large proportion of these additional staff comprised officers entering employment at the base levels for which establishment cover is not necessary.

(2) There are 183 vacant positions at the Repatriation General Hospital and 101 positions have been vacant for longer than three months.

(3) The number of available beds in Ward 14 at Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes remains at 30. However, following a review of Psychiatric Specialist resources in October 1984, it was decided to restrict the number of in-patients to 20. This is subject to continual review. There is a general shortage of specialist psychiatrists in Queensland and considerable difficulty has been experienced in attracting both full time and visiting staff to Repatriation General Hospital, Greenslopes. There are currently no staff psychiatrists despite the regular advertising of vacancies. It is anticipated that a Senior Specialist will be able to take up appointment in a few months. Applications for a further visiting psychiatrist were invited in February and are being processed. I am not aware of any patient requiring hospitalisation who has not been able to be treated either as an in-patient at Repatriation General Hospital Greenslopes or through other hospitals as arranged by my Department.