THE number of administrative staff at Albury Wodonga Health increased almost 60 per cent in two years, gobbling up revenue windfalls, says a Border accountant.
But the health service said the growth was part of its merger and they were leaner than ever.
Stan Stavros, whose clients include medical professionals, said a comparison of annual reports highlighted the issue.
At the end of June 2010 there were 114 administrative staff, at the end of the 2012 financial year that had grown to 177.
The number of frontline medical staff increased by about a quarter of the “bureaucracy”.
He said payments to the hospital’s chief executive Stuart Spring and board members increased by 26 per cent last year.
SPRING: One system better than two
Revenue growth of about $12.5 million was effectively cancelled out by an increase in wages of more than $12 million.
Scott Giltrap, a visiting medical officer at Albury Wodonga Health and director of Albury Day Surgery, Reproductive Medicine Albury and Border Pathology, said there were too many administrative staff.
Mr Stavros agreed.
“The merger should have created efficiencies but there are glaring anomalies in the financial data,” he said.
“There has been a massive blowout in non-medical staff numbers that can’t be explained by the merger of the hospitals.
“It is fast becoming a bureaucracy, not a hospital and it would appear that there are layers and layers of needless administration.
“There would have been at least $3 million in savings if non-medical staff numbers were contained to the same growth as medical staff.”
Mr Stavros said he felt compelled to speak out in defence of claims medical costs were the main drain on the service’s budget.
“I believe most people are disinterested in the argy-bargy of the political debate over funding, they just want to see the waiting list go down,” he said.
“I think what recent annual reports show is there has been a massive increase in funding, a massive increase in admin costs and a massive increase in waiting lists.”