Talks sought with private hospitals

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27 March 2020

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) is seeking talks with private hospitals on how the looming suspension of semi-urgent elective surgeries may impact staff.

National Cabinet has agreed to extend the deadline for the suspension of semi-urgent Category 2 and 3 elective surgeries at private hospitals to 11.59pm, April 1.

The suspension is aimed at freeing up hospital resources for the COVID-19 pandemic. We acknowledge this may impact staffing levels.

ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM has commenced writing to private hospitals, stating: “We appreciate that this is a demanding time for all health care providers across South Australia. Following the Federal Government’s announcement on 25 March 2020, we understand that your organisation will be acting with urgency to implement a number of significant workforce changes. Such changes might include the stand down or redeployment of your entire nursing workforce.

“The ANMF (SA Branch) is committed to ensuring the health and safety of health care workers, and the community during these extraordinary times. It is therefore our intention to work with health care providers to support the necessary changes that will be rolled out in the coming months,’’ Ms Dabars wrote.

“In order to support those changes, it is critical that we have open and frank communication with your organisation. You would already be aware of your consultation obligations under the existing enterprise agreement that require you to consult with your employees and their chosen representatives during times of significant change. We remind you that those obligations continue to have effect. However, in these extraordinary times, we ask that you prioritise the urgent distribution of information relevant to workforce changes to the ANMF (SA Branch) so that we can properly advise our members, who look to us for advice in these difficult times.
“Over the last week, the ANMF (SA Branch) has received an unprecedented number of member enquiries to our industrial assistance team. Many of these enquiries have come from your employees. We would request that all relevant workforce information be provided to us as soon as possible.

“Given the urgency, we also suggest arranging a teleconference in order to discuss your emergency planning and workforce changes.’’   

We will continue to contact private sites about this important issue.

See sample of correspondence sent to Sportsmed.