Cau­tion over nurse pledge

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

The po­ten­tial for more nurses in the re­gion has been wel­comed in Fin­ley.

But ac­cord­ing to NSW Nurses and Mid­wives As­so­ci­a­tion Fin­ley branch pres­i­dent Michelle Silva there are still ‘‘too many ques­tions which need to be an­swered’’.

Last week the NSW gov­ern­ment an­nounced 5000 more nurses and mid­wives for hos­pi­tals across the state, with an ex­pected 197 for the Mur­rumbidgee Lo­cal Health District (MLHD).

The an­nounce­ment comes off the back of nurses’ ral­lies held in Fin­ley and De­niliquin this month call­ing for bet­ter nurs­ing ra­tios in MLHD hos­pi­tals.

MLHD is ‘‘an­tic­i­pated’’ to re­ceive 273 new staff, in­clud­ing 16 doc­tors, 197 nurses and mid­wives, 25 al­lied health staff and 35 hos­pi­tal sup­port work­ers.

Ms Silva said the de­ci­sion to back the call for ex­tra nurses has been an­nounced too close to an elec­tion.

‘‘I still have alarm bells with this gov­ern­ment as all of a sud­den we’re just around the cor­ner from an elec­tion and they make this an­nounce­ment.

‘‘It seems quite timely for them (Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment) con­sid­er­ing the NSW Nurses and Mid­wives As­so­ci­a­tion is push­ing not to vote for any­one who isn’t sup­port­ing nurses.

‘‘The Lib­eral Gov­ern­ment has said it won’t sup­port ra­tios when it first came into power, now since the unions are mak­ing a big push, all of a sud­den they’re do­ing this.

‘‘At the rally we were look­ing for par­ties who could vote for us and only He­len Dal­ton (Shoot­ers, Fish­ers and Farm­ers) turned up to sup­port us.’’

Ms Silva said de­spite the much needed sup­port of ex­tra nurses there was no an­nounce­ment on how the gov­ern­ment would de­liver ex­tra nurses.

‘‘Where are they go­ing to get them from? What’s the guar­an­tee of us get­ting that num­ber of re­cruits who come to the area?

‘‘We know the gov­ern­ment has turn its back on the MLHD quite a bit.

‘‘They haven’t said when we will re­ceive ex­tra nurses. It could be 10 years time they’re talk­ing about ac­tu­ally bring­ing in ex­tra nurses.

‘‘These ex­tra nurses need to start com­ing through straight away but where and when are they go­ing to have them here?

‘‘I’ll be­lieve it when I see it,’’ Ms Silva said.

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