19 June 2019
Last week, the ANMF (SA Branch) publicly declared it could not support the Gayle’s Law regulations as the gazetted version included a provision that significantly compromised the level of protection for remote area health care workers intended by the legislation.
The provision in question allows individual health practitioners to go to public places without accompaniment if they have conducted a risk assessment. This inclusion undermines the essence of the legislation by placing remote area nurses or midwives in the position where they are responsible for making a safety judgment call—such a circumstance led to Gayle Woodford’s untimely death in March 2016.
Gayle’s family stepped up in support of our calls for the regulations to be disallowed by Parliament. We understand a motion for this to occur may be made in the Legislative Council late today.
While we do not wish to delay the 1 July implementation of these regulations, as we know this law has been a long time coming, we remain hopeful that the implementation of regulations without this safety-compromising provision can and will be expedited.