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May 18, 2022

The Greens launch NurseKeeper for nurses and paramedics

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This morning’s message from lung specialist Dr Lucy Morgan was that our health staff are exhausted in response to an alarming number of burnt-out nurses and paramedics in NSW resigning in recent weeks with threats of more to come, the Greens have written to the Premier to ask him to immediately introduce ‘NurseKeeper’, a campaign calling on the NSW Government to urgently introduce pandemic pay and bonuses for nurses and paramedics.

Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and Health spokesperson said our public hospitals are in a state of emergency and it’s not because of the number of patients, it’s because there are not enough nurses to care for them.

‘Senior health staff are quitting in droves and thousands of nurses have been furloughed due to Covid. If the Government does not act fast to retain nurses and paramedics then mass resignations could see our whole healthcare system come undone,” said Cate Faehrmann, Greens MP and health spokesperson.

‘We are calling on the NSW government to immediately introduce NurseKeeper, a plan to retain and reward nurses and paramedics during this emergency.

The proposed NurseKeeper payments includes:

• an immediate bonus of $5,000 to all nurses and paramedics working in the public health system in NSW to act as an incentive to stay for those currently considering resigning from the profession

• a ‘pandemic payment’ of at least $60 per shift, in line with the initiative taken by the Victorian Government.

• a further $5,000 in 12 months time as an additional retention measure and gesture of gratitude

‘This Government has let this state slip into a completely avoidable public health disaster allowing our public hospitals to become completely overrun and dysfunctional.

‘Nurses are working in horrific conditions, being pressured to work 18-hour shifts for days in a row caring for more patients than they can handle. This is diabolical and we haven’t even hit the peak of this outbreak,’ said Ms Faehrmann.

The frontline is overflowing with COVID patients

Mandy Nolan, Byron Shire Community Advocate said the frontline is the EDs and ICUs that are overflowing with CoOVID patients, and our nurses and paramedics are the ones who are getting us through. ‘But they’re human. They can only take so much.

‘The only way we are going to get through this pandemic is by supporting the people who support us: our nurses and paramedics. They are out there every day, doing double shifts, doing the hard lifting in this pandemic. Two years on they’re at breaking point.

‘Every time a nurse walks it’s a sign this government has failed to provide adequate support to our health workers. Let’s keep our nurses. Let’s keep our paramedics. Let’s keep pushing for fair wages.

Ms Nolan said the Tweed Hospital is in trouble. ‘How are they going to retain staff when nurses in Queensland get better pay, have better conditions and work with ratios? There’s no incentive to stay working in the NSW Health system and that is going to hurt our communities. We need to support our nurses so they can support us.’

The campaign includes targeted social media ads and emails to reach an initial goal of 10,000 emails to the Premier Dominic Perrottet and Health Minister Brad Hazzard.


 

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9 COMMENTS

  1. The phrase ‘Prevention is better than Cure’ is often attributed to the Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus in around 1500. It is now a fundamental principle of modern health care and inherent within health and social care strategies across Australia.
    NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has reversed that saying by opening up the State before it was ready.
    In his hands the saying is now ‘Cure is better than Prevention’ because you can’t prevent the spread of Covid if you bring down restrictions of movement. within the State
    A rising death rate will result and a burnt -out Health system will be the outcome with nursing staff and doctors suffering from exhaustion.

  2. I completely support the call for NurseKeeper, the NSW Medical and Nursing fraternaty and Public hosptals have been under funded for decades.
    Now they are called upon to double down on what is a health crisis of mamoth proportions. The Nurses ,Doctors and their surpport workers have risen heroically to the challenge, and still more challenges arise .
    Premier Perrottet, you made the call to open up, you must accept the responsibility for that . You cannot leave the Nurses and Doctors of the Public Health System to fight this unaided, PLEASE HEED THE CALL .

  3. NurseKeeper is the thing you have after the horse / Nurse Burnout has already bolted. None of us have forgotten the actions of Nurses and Midwives last year in trying to get decent pay outcomes but then Treasurer DomiDON’care, the now Premier Domicron didn’t want to know about the lot of our Nurses last year, so good luck Nurses in having a fresh go now. It is just like the situation with Teaching, Premier Domicron flaying for a solution of teacher shortages with this half cocked idea of bringing back ‘retired teachers’ and sticking Uni Teacher Students into classrooms when they not ready. Premier Domicron is a shocking disgrace who needlessly threw out the then Covid restrictions all in the worship of his’Economy, Economy, Economy’ – how’s that working out now as businesses are doing it tougher than they were in years lockdown.

    • A typo correction if I may – “DomIDON”care” should read DomIDON’Tcare which of course nails him over his icare / workers comp fiasco.

  4. I am an RN , have been nursing for 30yrs in nsw public hospitals.am currently working on respiratory ward last 16yrs.never before have I experienced such chronic understaffing.workloads are unreasonable and unsafe.experienced nurses are leaving as their mental health is affected.nurses are beyond exhausted,have emotional disentachment from pts and are pressured to do double shifts from management.nurses deserve respect.

  5. Having just had my nurse daughter visiting and visibly exhausted both physically and mentally the state and federal governments don’t give a rats arse. But the greens can propose this because they will never be in government and is riding on the back of what labor has been pushing both at state and federal levels but the Tories have not allowed parliament to sit very often to avoid scrutiny.

  6. I soppier this one off payment. It’s difficult for people to truely appreciate the current pressure our front line workers are under , unless they are working in the industry.

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