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Kalgoorlie Hospital theatre nurses yesterday threatened to walk off the job over comments by their medical director, which the Australian Nursing Federation claims are “patently untrue”.

The Kalgoorlie Miner revealed last month joint replacement surgery had been cancelled at the hospital, with patients told they would have to join waiting lists in Perth.

But Australian Nursing Federation secretary Mark Olson said theatre staff were insulted by statements made by WA Country Health Service Goldfields medical director Peter Barratt to the media.

He said claims by Mr Barratt theatre nurses did not have the orthopaedic experience needed for joint replacement surgery were just a “convenient excuse” for cutting services at the hospital.