Social Justice & Action
Nurses and midwives to protest outside Liverpool Hospital
Liverpool Hospital nurses and midwives held a rally in their own time this morning outside the hospital, seeking a commitment from the NSW government to urgently address the long-standing staffing crisis being further exposed by the current Covid-19 outbreak.
The action follows a statewide meeting of nurses and midwives last week where NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) delegates voted to condemn the NSW government’s handling of the pandemic.
The NSWNMA has written to Premier Perrottet to convey some immediate steps he can take to alleviate the unsustainable pressure on our hospitals, including the payment of a Covid-19 Allowance for healthcare workers, allowing nurses and midwives to access Special Leave when Covid-19 positive, and committing to implement shift-by-shift ratios to ensure staffing levels.
NSWNMA Acting General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said NSWNMA members at Liverpool Hospital are furious at the NSW government’s failure to support them and felt compelled to speak out.
“Well before the pandemic, nurses and midwives in NSW have been working understaffed and unsupported. This peak has relied on our members working excessive overtime to keep hospitals running and staff are burning out,” Ms Candish said.
“This isn’t confined to one or two hospitals. We’re seeing nurses and midwives right across the state calling for urgent action from this government because the staffing situation is so dire.
“Nurses and midwives are well past breaking point, the current crisis of constant overtime and huge workloads will see many burnout and leave, meaning we will be in an even weaker position when the next wave hits.
“It should never have come to this. For years, nurses and midwives have been calling on the NSW government to increase staffing to address systemic problems.
“The Premier must urgently step in and commit to staffing improvements through safer nurse-to-patient ratios to ensure we have more resilience in our healthcare system into the future.”