Victoria's nursing union has called for a compromise in a federal-state dispute over hospital funding, as jobs and many beds are set to be cut.
"There will be many beds closed and there will be some job losses," he told reporters on Tuesday.
The federal government points to the fact the state will receive almost $1 billion in additional federal funding over four years.
The dispute centres around population figures used to calculate the funding, with the federal government saying numbers have fallen and the state government saying they have risen.
The Australian Nursing Federation says the past two years have seen $723 million slashed from Victoria's health budget, with $616 million cut by the state government and $107 million by the federal government.
It wants a compromise and is calling for each side to fund the $107 million equally as an interim measure.
"Winning the blame argument will be of little comfort to Victorians who are waiting in emergency departments, or who are suffering as they languish on elective surgery waiting lists," ANF Victorian branch secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick said.
Ms Fitzpatrick said the state government was elected on a promise to fix the public health system and cut elective surgery waiting times.
But she said since 2010, elective surgery waiting lists had risen by 7000 patients and more beds had closed or were now called "hospital in the home", where people stayed in their own homes for acute care.
The ANF has written to state and federal auditors-general asking for an urgent investigation on which government is behind the cuts so they are held to account.
Ms Fitzpatrick said if the dispute is not resolved, thousands of Victorians will miss out on vital surgery or be waiting hours in emergency departments or sitting in ambulances on hospital ramps.
The full impact of the cuts is unknown.
She said that had forced blowouts in wait times for patients needing gynaecological surgery.
The Royal Children's Hospital is also considering cutting the number of nursing staff on night duty, she said.
"We're waiting for their data to show that the presentations have fallen on that night duty shift to support any reduction in staffing," Ms Fitzpatrick said.
She said in 2011/12, the hospital's waiting list for children needing treatment grew by 2150.
About 60 beds remain closed at the Royal Children's since the new hospital opened in 2011 due to funding shortfalls, she said.
"We think it's critical to remember there was decreased funding provided by the Baillieu government in 2011-2012, which is why there were some nearly 8000 less procedures taking place in public hospitals in Victoria," she said.
Royal Women's Hospital chief executive Dale Fisher said job losses are not anticipated as a result of the budget cuts at this stage.
But patients will have to wait longer for elective surgery, Ms Fisher said in a statement.
She said the hospital has extended the Christmas and New Year holiday closure of elective surgeries until the end of January.