Bega nurses join global day of action

NURSES and midwives from the South East joined colleagues in Sydney as part of an international day of action.

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) delegates and members from around the state, including Diane Lang and Noelene Bell from Bega Hospital, will join the Global Nurses United’s first international day of action.

In June this year the NSWNMA helped form an international nursing organisation - Global Nurses United - strongly committed to overcoming what it believes is injustice, and resisting and reversing the attacks on affordable public services, including hospitals and other health services.

Throughout the year, NSWNMA has been calling the state government to guarantee safe nurse staffing levels in all public hospitals, public hospital clinical units and community health services, including a nurse to patient ratio of 1:4.

This morning nurses and midwives are assembling in Sydney’s Hyde Park before marching to Parliament House and back to St Mary’s Cathedral.

While at Parliament House, Ms Lang said she would be presenting the government with a petition containing 1396 signatures from people across the Bega Valley calling for the implementation of the 1:4 ratio.

There will be a second rally this afternoon following the same route as this morning’s rally to allow nurses on morning shifts to attend.

So far peak nursing and midwifery unions from 14 countries, from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australasia, have signed the San Francisco declaration as part of their membership of Global Nurses United.

The declaration calls for “a safe care for all patients with safe nurse-to-patient staffing ratios”.

NSWNMA assistant secretary Judith Kiejda said, “To now have an international nursing organisation with this strong social justice and protection of public services focus has been an objective of the NSWNMA for many years.

“It is vital that working people, including nurses and midwives, have global capacity not just state and national capacity here in Australia.”

“Here in n Australia the NSWNMA now has the support of Global Nurses United as it continues campaigning to have safer nurse-to-patient ratios extended throughout NSW public hospitals and community health services.

“We also have the support of, and receive assistance from, Global Nurses United for our campaign against the state government’s and federal Coalition’s policy of privatising public hospitals.

“Global Nurses United has only just started, but it is a big, important and positive step for nurses and midwives here in NSW, the rest of Australia and around the world, as we step up our resistance to those vested interests that want to put profits before patient care and those governments that support them,” Ms Kiejda said.

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