Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Health spokesperson
Today I tabled a petition calling on the Rockliff Government to fix Tasmania’s devastated health system, on behalf of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation. Over 2,400 people signed the petition calling on the Government to immediately implement measures to support the recruitment and retention of health workers.
The ANMF know too well the health crisis is deepening, despite the best efforts of Tasmania’s hardworking, overstressed healthcare professionals. Their plea to the Premier and Health Minister was for a commitment to fully staff the health system, permanently fill vacant nurse and midwife positions, employ additional clinical nurse educators and clinical coaches, and increase the base salary of nurses and midwives on par with other jurisdictions.
Chronic understaffing is placing enormous strain on nurses and midwives, and putting patients at increased risk. The Liberals have failed to support those who care for Tasmanians.
The health system is reliant on the use of overtime shifts and agency staff. This places huge demands on healthcare workers, impacts upon patients, and wastes taxpayers’ money.
Premier Rockliff’s lackadaisical approach to the ongoing Covid pandemic, including the insufficient support for health workers suffering Long Covid, says everything about his government’s support for community wellbeing.
The Liberals repeatedly refuse to tackle nurse and midwife understaffing and the pressures on the health system. Every day conditions deteriorate further for staff, and patients continue to be put at risk.
While the Greens were proud to sponsor the ANMF’s petition and present their plea to Parliament, it is our sincerest wish we didn’t have to. Nurses and midwifes, like all health professionals, are there when we are our most vulnerable and in need of help.