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‘Horrified’: Nurses to protest escalating health crisis at King Edward Memorial Hospital

Gareth Parker & Liam Bartlett
Article image for ‘Horrified’: Nurses to protest escalating health crisis at King Edward Memorial Hospital

Nurses and midwives will rally at King Edward Memorial Hospital this afternoon to highlight staff shortages and protest working conditions.

Australian Nursing Federation state secretary Mark Olson said the union is calling for more support for under-pressure workers.

“We have thousands of nurses who are on short term and casual contracts, who can’t get those contracts converted in to permanent positions,” he told Gareth Parker.

The government insists it’s working hard to address the shortages, but Mr Olson said it’s not enough.

“I am horrified that there has been precious little done, lack of planning and a lack of action over the last 12 to 14 months,” he said.

“Surely the bureaucrats must have known and surely the state government must have known that the country wasn’t going to open up to free travel anytime soon.

“So we are now stuck in a situation where we can’t get nurses from overseas … and we can’t get them from interstate.”

Press PLAY to hear more about the escalating health crisis

The protest comes as some private hospitals offer cash incentives of $6,000 to anyone who recruits a nurse that stays at least a full year.

Bethesda Hospital CEO Dr Neale Fong told Liam Bartlett staff numbers in hospitals are the lowest he has ever seen.

“I don’t think I have ever seen it as tight at this, in terms of workforce supply, both for medical and nursing staff.”

Press PLAY to hear the full interview

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.) 

Gareth Parker & Liam Bartlett
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