Our campaign reflects community concerns

The NSWNA commissioned a comprehensive survey of 800 members of the public on attitudes to health and aged care, which revealed the community strongly backs the position the NSWNA has taken on health and aged care and raised in our TV advertising campaign.

A strong majority of respondents also found it was legitimate for the NSWNA to run such a campaign and that nurses have a very credible voice speaking out about what is going on in the public health and aged care systems.

Ninety percent agreed with the central message of our campaign: that if nurses’ pay and conditions are cut then we will not be able to attract enough nurses into our health system. Eighty-three per cent agree that if nurses’ pay and conditions are cut then the quality of care received by patients will drop.

The survey revealed a widespread understanding that nurses hold our health system together with a strong majority (78%) believing that nurses are not paid enough.

People believe our health system and aged care are worse
Very few respondents believed that the health system had improved over the past five years (9%). In fact, 40% thought it had got worse, while 44% thought it had stayed the same. There was also widespread pessimism about it getting better.

There were also negative perceptions about the state of aged care. Twenty-nine per cent of people thought it had got worse over the past five years; just over a third thought it has stayed about the same, and only 10% thought it was better. Pessimism about the future of aged care was also strong.

Federal government performance in aged care rates poorly
The federal government has a very poor performance rating on all aspects of the aged care system:

  • 67% of respondents rated the performance of the federal government as poor when it came to preparing for the growing demand on the aged care system from our ageing population in the future;
  • 63% ranked the federal government’s performance as poor on providing adequate funding to aged care services;
  • 63% ranked the federal government’s performance as poor for ensuring that everybody – regardless of how much money they had – could access good-quality aged care services.

NSWNA is a credible voice on health

The public gave the NSWNA the thumbs up and supported the right of nurses to take their message to the airwaves:

  • 71% believed it was legitimate for the NSWNA to run a political campaign;
  • 79% believed the NSW Nurses’ Association was the most reliable organisation to speak about the health system;
  • 79% said it was a good thing nurses were represented by strong unions since it gave them the ability and security to speak out when they saw problems with care received by patients.