EDITORIAL: Hospitals due for a check-up
SURGERY theatres in the Wodonga hospital have been described as inefficient and overstaffed.
Dr Scott Giltrap said Wodonga had many layers of management and senior nurses in management positions.
“One nursing unit manager is all that is required for a three-theatre complex such as at Wodonga,” he said.
In one recent week there were two theatres running for an afternoon list of seven low-complexity cases.
He said there were 30 staff — not including doctors and sterilising department staff.
Dr Giltrap is a visiting medical officer at Albury Wodonga Health.
He is also a director of Albury Day Surgery, Reproductive Medicine Albury and Border Pathology, and is the chairman of the Border Medical Recruitment Taskforce.
He also raised the issue of the “generally unnecessary” and “very expensive” use of disposable medical equipment.
“Disposable equipment appears to be organised at the choice of both doctors and nurses without regard to cost,” he said.
As an example, he said the cost of disposables for a simple operation such as a laparoscopy was about $450 and could reach $1000 “at the whim of a surgeon”.
“Albury Wodonga Health currently uses disposable drapes and single-use cotton handtowels imported from Mexico,” he said.
“This has cost implications, coupled with the loss of local jobs and environmental implications.”
Dr Spring said the service had recently decided, while there were areas where disposables were required, “we are going back to having linen that is laundered”.
“Disposable equipment is very much a matter that Scott is challenging his own clinical colleagues on,” he said.
“Overall our comment is thank you Scott, keep up the good work of keeping us honest and we’ll be responding.”