PSA Meets with Chief Executive SA Health - Quarterly Meeting

08 June 2016

The PSA met with the SA Health Chief Executive on Friday 3 June 2016 at a scheduled quarterly meeting with SA Health to discuss Agency wide issues.

A number of matters were discussed in the meeting, including the following:

The PSA reiterated that the intent of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment's Determination 7 Redeployment, Retraining and Redundancy is to place employees formally declared excess into ongoing positions. Additionally, the PSA has sought a commitment from SA Health that a centralised system be implemented that identifies unattached staff and the placement of those staff before being formally declared excess. The PSA reiterated that it is imperative that the case management of displaced employees commences at the earliest opportunity, rather than waiting for a formal letter to be signed by the Chief Executive.

The PSA has also raised this issue as part of its submission to the 12 month review of Determination 7 with the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.

PSA raised concerns about the risks of staff traveling in country areas where there are known black spots of mobile phone coverage. It is understood that throughout the transition period Country Health SA Local Health Network implemented a mechanism to enable affected employees to trial an Optus device at the same time as using their Telstra device in order to track coverage issues. Staff in the Department were not given the same opportunity. PSA believes this to be a serious Health and Safety risk, especially if staff are traveling individually throughout regional South Australia.

Whilst it is acknowledged that such matters ought to be raised with the employer in the first instance, if members have ongoing concerns, please contact the PSA directly.

There are a number of sub-acute programs whose funding is ceasing at the end of this financial year (many in country areas) as there is no agreement with the Federal Government to continue funding.

There also seems to be a disconnection between the Primary Health Networks, who are now receiving new $300 million funding across Australia and the Local Health Networks (LHNs). Discussions are occurring as to how SA Health can design a link-up with services that are important for the LHNs.

The PSA commented that a clear disconnection is demonstrated where funding for programs has ceased or is about to cease (eg Youth Early Psychosis (Headspace), Mental Health Walk-in Services (Northern Community Mental Health), when at the same time Primary Health Networks are tendering for services. The closure of publicly funded services continues to contribute to the current over-crowding in our acute hospitals, including Emergency Departments.

ALLIED HEALTH 24/7 - Transforming Health
The Chief Executive updated the PSA on a number of reviews including the expansion of Allied Health Services across seven days, as part of the Transforming Health initiative. The PSA reiterated that for any proposal to consider expansion of Allied Health Services across seven days there needs to be discussions about the provision of adequate resources to meet demand.

The PSA will continue to advocate strongly for members and services and welcomes feedback at any time on any issue.