Budget blues 

EMERGENCY: Swan Hill District Health chief executive officer Ted Rayment and Federal Member for Mallee John Forrest have slammed the Commonwealth's reduced funding for Victorian hospitals.
EMERGENCY: Swan Hill District Health chief executive officer Ted Rayment and Federal Member for Mallee John Forrest have slammed the Commonwealth's reduced funding for Victorian hospitals.

SWAN Hill District Health has been told it must shed $378,000 from this year's budget after the Commonwealth made a snap-decision to cut funding.

Hospital boards across Victoria have cried foul over the $106.7 million shortfall in Commonwealth funding announced on November 30.

The cut is set to take effect today, and hospital staff and local politicians are furious at the demands coming halfway through the financial year.

Swan Hill hospital chief executive officer Ted Rayment said among the options to cut spending were further cancellations of elective surgeries, bed closures and staff reductions.

"The board and management of the hospital regret the impact on the community and families, but without the funds to do the work, we are in an invidious position," Mr Rayment said.

Mr Rayment said the hospital was already "down to the marrow, in terms of cuts".

For more on this story, see Friday's edition of The Guardian (7/12/12).

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