Enrolled Nurse Brett Sutherland decries the government’s rhetoric towards nurses and midwives, that always seems to come without meaningful action.
The World Health Organization has designated 2021 as the Year of Health and Care Workers – an acknowledgement of the great work that the health workforce has done through the COVID-19 pandemic.
While that’s all well and good, it makes me wonder when the accolades will finally turn into real action, which actually improves the lives of health workers.
What material benefit does this recognition have on our professions? In the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, our professions faced a cruel wage cut and rampant understaffing, as well as being forced to fight for the necessary PPE required to do our jobs. Will this year bring more cuts, more freezes and more insults to workers who have literally put their lives on the line?
Governments have become experts at patronising rhetoric. Thanking nurses and midwives while attacking our professions and our conditions simply does not cut it.
The credit is welcome, but ultimately that doesn’t pay the bills.