Contributed from New South Wales
Nurses in New South Wales are fed up and determined to act, as the state government drags its feet on nurse to patient ratios.
They are prepared to resign together and cripple the health system, if they must. When such a thing is contemplated, the situation must be serious indeed.
It is so bad that New South Walers now lags fart behind Queensland and Victoria. The only minimum ratio is for patients in rehabilitative and palliative care.
The state branch of the Nurses and Midwives’ Association is renewing the call for a change.
Nurses in New South Wales are fed up as the government drags its feet behind Queensland and Victoria who’ve introduced nurse to patient ratios.
General Secretary of the Association, Brett Holmes said at a media interview: “We want that across all of our hospitals, not just the big city hospitals. We want patients in our rural and regional areas to have access to the same level of nursing care.”
Morale in nursing is low. A recent survey revealed 67 percent of nurses have thought about leaving the job because of poor staffing levels and high workloads.
For those who remain it means even more work and more stress. Nursing care is affected, and patients are bound to pay the cost with health outcomes that are less than they are entitled to.
“We’ve got to get this government to understand that it’s time to put in place a system that delivers the right number of nurses to patients on every shift,” Mr Holmes says.
“We’ll continue to campaign…press our case for as long as it takes.”
The public appreciates the important work that nurses do, and the experience has been that they want them to be properly treated. An additional patient per nurse can increase the likelihood of an inpatient dying by seven per cent.
After all, our health is one of the most important issues that we ever face. When governments compromise this, they threaten us all.