NURSES from both Bombala and Delegate were part of last Wednesday’s statewide strike to protest against the O’Farrell Government’s failure to provide guaranteed, safe nurse staffing levels in all public hospitals.
Bombala Health Service staff walked off the job between 11.30am and 1pm last Wednesday and gathered in the main street to distribute information about the vital need for equal ratios in all hospitals around NSW.
Their strike effort was well supported by the community, which was open in listening to the issues effecting nurses and midwives, and even offering to help in a more practical way.
“Locals were offering to sign a petition or even donate money to help, but it was all about raising awareness about the need to better match nursing levels to patient levels for the benefit of all,” local healthcare worker, Linda Holster said.
Meanwhile staffing levels at the Delegate MPS were too low to allow for a responsible strike, but off duty staff attended a special general meeting of the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association in Merimbula on the day.
NSWNMA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said the first round of enforceable, minimum nurse-to-patient ratios were introduced into general medical and surgical wards in most NSW hospitals as part of the 2010-11 award negotiated between the NSWNMA and former Labor government.
“In this second round the NSWNMA wants the O’Farrell Government to build on this landmark staffing reform by extending the ratios or guaranteed minimum staffing to more clinical units, including emergency departments, children’s wards, intensive care units, community health services and smaller hospitals,” he said.
“These ratios, at a reasonable and affordable cost, will bring a greater level of stability and reliability to the health system and improve patient experiences and outcomes.”