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, joined 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 on 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.
On Tuesday morning, nurses and midwives assembled in Sydney’s Hyde Park before marching to Parliament House and back to St Mary’s Cathedral.
While at Parliament House, Ms Lang presented the government with a petition containing 1396 signatures from people across the Bega Valley calling for the implementation of the 1:4 ratio.
“It was a really good day, and our Bega Valley petition was just one of many,” Ms Lang said.
“Petitions containing over 23,000 signatures were presented, so it shows the community is very passionate about supporting nurses in achieving safe ratios.
“I spoke with many regional nurses on Tuesday and some hospitals are in worse situations than us.
“There is a long road ahead to achieve a safe patient ratio, but rallies like these are getting the message across,” she said.
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”.