State Opposition Leader John Robertson is taking on the O’Farrell government’s plans to cut hospital staff, claiming that the Hunter region will be impacted most by the planned cuts.

The ALP claims to have recieved details through Freedom of Information on plans to cull 800 hospital staff, including 103 in the Hunter New England Health region during this financial year.

John Robertson outside the John Hunter Hospital today.

John Robertson says this decision will affect frontline staff such as radiographers, speech pathologists, physiotherapists and nursing unit managers and that the John Hunter hospital is already suffering from a lack of staff.

However, NSW Health Minister Jillian Skinner has refuted claims that mass job cuts are imminent.

“It’s inaccurate to suggest that you can take a dollar figure, which is the health labour expenses cap and divide it by an average staff salary and come up with staff cut numbers, and that’s exactly what Labor is doing. It’s a scare campaign. The reality is we are employing overall extra frontline workers in the NSW health system, because this year we are funding an extra 50,000 emergency treatments, 30,000 extra overnight admissions and we’ve increased the health budget by $940 million dollars”