The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) has expressed disappointment in the NSW Government for not including a nurse-to-patient ratio expansion in the state budget.
NSWNMA Gunnedah’s Heather Franke said Tamworth MP Kevin Anderson has stated that he would “push for money to upgrade the Gunnedah Hospital, but there was no mention of increasing nurse to patient ratios”.
“The members of the Gunnedah branch of the NSWNMA will continue to campaign for better ratios, as we believe our community members deserve the same nursing hours per patient day as patients who present to larger hospitals in the cities,” Mrs Franke said.
“The branch members are committed to continuing to providing the best care to our patients, and will continue to have our patients needs as our first priority.”
Acting general secretary of the NSWNMA Judith Kiejda said with a $4.5 billion budget surplus, the government was being “irresponsible” for not addressing workload issues in public hospitals.
“When is this government going to listen to the frontline nurses and midwives in our public hospitals and provide them with the support they need to do their daily jobs – to safely care for the sick, injured, elderly and to deliver our precious newborns?” Ms Kiejda said.
“Of course we welcome the overall 4.8 per cent increase in health funding allocated in today’s [Tuesday’s] budget however, it ignores the long-term planning necessary to address growing demand on health services and the safe staffing levels that are required.”
Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson said nurse to patient ratios is a “policy discussion” and not relative to budget.
“I will continue to raise any concerns raised by local nurses with the local health district and Hunter New England Area Health,” Mr Anderson said.
“I encourage any local nurses who have individual concerns to contact my office directly for a confidential conversation.”