21 October 2021
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) has welcomed key political commitments to address the chronic lack of capacity in the state’s health system.
Speaking at the ANMF (SA Branch) Annual Delegates Conference yesterday, Labor Leader Peter Malinauskas made “firm commitments” to:
- Legislate for mandated staffing ratios to protect patients and nursing and midwifery staff; and
- Implement a hospital occupancy target of 90% over the term of the next Government in order to address systemic issues such as ramping and dangerously long waiting times in emergency departments; and
- Oppose further privatisation in the public health care sector and work to restore public ownership and control of privatised services at the earliest opportunity.
ANMF (SA Branch) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars AM hailed the Opposition commitments as a "huge step forward to reducing the crushing strain on our over-burdened health system".
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Months prior to the conference, political parties in SA received the ANMF (SA Branch)'s health policy position statement. All parties were invited to yesterday's delegates conference to deliver their policy positions on health and respond to the ANMF (SA Branch)'s statement.
Along with the Leader of the Opposition were SA Greens’ Tammy Franks and SA-BEST’s Connie Bonaros, who delivered their party’s position on health to the nurses, midwives and personal care workers in attendance.
The ANMF (SA Branch) has vowed to revamp its television and radio campaign calling for Action for Health following yesterday’s commitments by the State Opposition and the minor parties.
“If we want better hospital flow, an end to ramping and safer emergency departments, if we want ratios that protect staff from constant attacks, then the commitment by the Opposition is a major development for the better,’’ Ms Dabars said.
“Our continuing campaign will be emphasising just that.
“Nurse-patient ratios will enhance the safety of both nurses and patients by reducing nurse stress and fatigue and the danger of reduced or missed care for patients.
“The 90% occupancy target will also help reduce waiting times for treatment and improve patient flow through the hospital system.
“It is a win not just for nurses but for the health and wellbeing of the community at large,’’ Ms Dabars said.