Local nurses and midwives on the Mid North Coast will participate in a state-wide meeting on Tuesday (June 28) afternoon to discuss the NSW budget, their current wages and conditions offer and the NSW government's refusal to address extreme workload issues impacting safe patient care inside public hospitals.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) members will join the meeting at Sydney Town Hall from 2pm or participate online from regional locations and consider the next steps in their campaign.
Port Macquarie Base Hospital nurses will stop work for three hours from 1.30pm on Tuesday to virtually attend the meeting.
NSWNMA Acting General Secretary Shaye Candish said in considering last week's NSW budget and the Ministry of Health's wages and conditions offer, the NSWNMA Council had expressed support for members' pursuit of safe staffing ratios.
"There's widespread dissatisfaction amongst our members over the NSW government's refusal to even consider safe staffing ratios, what's been outlined in the budget, and serious transparency concerns about the announced workforce enhancements and regional incentives," Ms Candish said in a statement provided by the NSWNMA.
"The government is continuing to ignore the pleas of highly-skilled clinical professionals who remain extremely worried about the delivery of safe patient care now and into the future.
"A key concern is how little this health funding is targeted. Our members need these taxpayer dollars to be delivered directly into nursing and midwifery staffing, rather than the thousands of dollars our members report being spent right now on cupcakes. The insensitivity is offensive, given we still have nurses and midwives working understaffed every day."
NSWNMA Acting Assistant General Secretary Michael Whaites said the current staffing crisis would drag on until the widespread workloads and skill mix issues were addressed.
"Shift-by-shift ratios are the solution. Our healthcare system needs fundamental reform and our members are desperate to be heard because the current shortages are everywhere, from specialty to specialty, from emergency departments to maternity units," he said.
"Until our members experience improvements to their workloads or witness meaningful changes to address workload fatigue, sadly, we'll continue to see nurses and midwives leaving NSW, or the profession all together. They are done."
The meeting held on Tuesday afternoon will be closed to the public.
NSWNMA branches that voted for stop work in order to attend the meeting are working with local management to ensure life-preserving patient care will be maintained in all public hospitals and health services.
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