THE Victorian Government blames "unprecedented" Federal Government cuts for the decision to shut down hospital beds.Up to 700 Royal Melbourne Hospital patients will be forced to wait longer for elective surgery, while health bosses across the state are holding meetings to discuss which services will be cut in coming months.
Victorian Health Minister David Davis says the move has been brought on by the Federal Government's revised funding arrangement with the state.
"These cuts are so sharp, coming halfway through the financial year, that it is very difficult to manage," he told ABC radio.
"I mean these cuts are unprecedented to come halfway through the financial year, after the hospitals have set their budget."
But his federal counterpart Tanya Plibersek says the state is trying to cover its mismanagement.
"This is a smokescreen for the Victorian government's own failures," she said.
"Before any of this was in discussion, there were record high numbers of people on Victorian elective surgery waiting lists."