DETERMINED to keep momentum going on a campaign for new nurse to patient ratios in rural hospitals, members of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNMA) had a stall at Sapphire Marketplace this week.
Local members of the NSWNMA Diane Lang, Noelene Bell and Amanda Gillies were at the stall on Wednesday armed with information about the campaign which calls for a ratio of four patients to one nurse.
This ratio is standard for most metropolitan hospitals, but not rural facilities such as Bega and Pambula hospitals.
“Ultimately lower nurses ratios in rural hospitals means a greater workload that impacts on patient safety,” Ms Lang said.
“June 30 has passed and the State Government won’t endorse the NSWNMA Award, which calls for these ratios and the same thing happened last year.
“This is turning into a long and protracted campaign, but it’s worth continuing because patients in the Bega Valley, and across the state, deserve better.”
Ms Gillies, Bega branch secretary of the NSWNMA, said the State Government only looked at budget numbers and didn’t realise what was happening on the ground.
“We are living longer and the ageing population is causing a greater workload in the public health system,” she said.
“More nurses at the clinical front line would actually save the government money in the long run as you are having better patient outcomes initially and patient safety isn’t compromised,” she said.
The nurses asked passers-by to sign a petition to be sent to Member for Bega Andrew Constance or a letter to him asking ratios at Bega and Pambula hospitals to be comparable with city hospitals.
“Everyone deserves the right to safe care no matter what part of the state they live in,” Ms Lang said.
For more information about the “Ratios put patient safety first campaign” visit www.nswnma.asn.au.