Wollongong MP Paul Scully, has called on the NSW Minister for Health to immediately step in and address the "growing crisis" in the Illawarra's hospitals.
The Minister must intervene, guarantee funding to cover this year's budget shortfall and immediately establish an independent review of financial, capital and human resourcing of the Illawarra's hospitals, Mr Scully said.
The Mercury revealed on Saturday that Illawarra hospital staff were being asked to tighten their belts as part of the district's efforts to reduce the budget blow-out.
In a memo to staff, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District chief executive Margot Mains said the district was forecast to be around $9.5 million over budget by the end of the financial year.
While that's just one per cent of its operating budget of $950 million, Ms Mains' letter informed staff that the district was "spending way beyond" its means.
"Our increasing activity is driving up costs, and while this is a significant factor, system inefficiency and wastage are also playing a significant part," she stated.
Mr Scully said the Mercury revelation comes on the back of the district operating deficits in 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18.
At the recent election the Berejiklian Government committed more than $8.7 billion to improve hospitals throughout NSW but not a cent was committed to Wollongong Hospital, he said.
"The pressure on the Illawarra's health system, and in particular Wollongong Hospital, continues to grow while the Minister for Health is happy to ignore our needs - this neglect must stop now.
"The staff of the area health service are doing a great job with the resources they have but fundamentally Illawarra hospitals are being short-changed when it comes to resource allocations.
"It is time for Brad Hazzard to step in and guarantee the funding gap this financial year and immediately start a root and branch review of our resourcing needs so that our local hospitals don't continue to lurch from crisis to crisis."
Mr Scully said the health system had to "efficiently and effectively" manage its financial resources. "But when you are asking the local system to do more than ever before but the resourcing from the Berejiklian Government isn't keeping up, something is going to give."
Ms Mains told the Mercury that developing greater efficiencies means that patients will benefit from the savings made in areas that are currently not giving the community value for money.
"Our highest priority is the quality and safety of our health services and to ensure that the local community's allocated health funding is spent on delivering exactly that," she said.