NSWNMA welcomes efforts to begin Medicare overhaul
The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) welcomes plans by the federal government to modernise Medicare and overhaul the various models of care currently delivered by clinicians.
Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler, confirmed the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce had been considering a range of options to enhance the roles of health professionals and help address increasing demands on the entire healthcare system.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said efforts to expand the roles of nurses and midwives to their full clinical scope and create new opportunities would be well received, given the workforce challenges over recent years.
“We have long been calling for practical solutions at the national level to address some of the constraints impacting nursing and midwifery professionals,” said Ms Candish.
“Nurses and midwives are integral to all aspects of care delivery. They are continuously developing their clinical skills and should be afforded more opportunities for growth within the sector.”
Ms Candish said expanding the scope of nurses and midwives would help to provide better access to healthcare across communities, particularly in rural and regional areas where access had become increasingly challenging.
Birthing services across NSW have been scaled back recently due to a lack of qualified staff. Ms Candish noted if midwives were able to practice within their full scope in community and primary care settings, there would be a greater incentive for midwives to work in regional, rural and remote areas. This would lead to a reduction the amount of travel necessary for women to receive care and advice.
Enabling nurses and midwives to work to their full clinical scope would also help reduce the burden faced within acute care settings and allow patients to be seen quickly and safely within their community, rather than delayed in an overcrowded waiting room.
The NSWNMA said it eagerly awaited seeing the contents of the upcoming Taskforce report and collaborating with federal and state governments to deliver more improvements to the healthcare system.