The safety of nurses and patients at Maclean Hospital will be under severe threat, with the Labor State Government on the verge of axing on-site night security, according to Clarence Nationals MP Steve Cansdell.

The sacking of the night security guard/cleaner is part of the NSW Labor Government’s 400 full-time jobs cut plan of hospitals in the North Coast Area Health Service.

“This is not just dumb, it is dangerous. It is typical of the out-of-town, out-of-control management we have come to expect from the North Coast Area Health Service,” Mr Cansdell said.

“Labor’s top health bureaucrat, Chris Crawford, says it doesn’t matter because a limited number of hospital staff have been issued with duress alarms.

“However, the nearest 24/7 police station is in Grafton, meaning a 40-minute response time at best.

“Labor says it will have regular security patrols, but that is just not the same has having a licensed security guard on-site who can deal with emergency situations.

“Isolated, low-staffed hospitals like Maclean face a number of security threats, especially in the early hours.

“This isn’t just from patients affected by mental conditions or drugs and alcohol, but also from drunken louts trespassing on hospital grounds.

“It is a disgrace that nurses and patients have to put their personal safety and property at risk because of Labor’s ignorant and callous cost cutting.”