Ratios on the world stage

Global Day of ActionOur latest push to improve and extend ratios was part of a global day of action in support of universal health care as a human right.

The O’Farrell Government may think the 2013 public health system pay and ratios claim is over, but rallies for ratios as part of a Global Nurses United (GNU) day of action would suggest otherwise.

Hundreds of nurses rallied outside Parliament House on September 17 to deliver petitions with more than 70,000 signatures which will be presented to the government, before taking their message to the public outside the Sydney Opera House and on Sydney Harbour.

The action kicked off a wave of activities around the world as nurses took to the streets to send a message to their governments that they were going to stand up for universal health care as a human right.

The global day of action coincided with a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to determine its millennial goals for 2015. One of the principal goals is to improve health for the most disenfranchised in society through strengthened national health systems.

NSWNMA Assistant Secretary Judith Kiejda says an international nurses’ organisation, which coordinates support between nurses and midwives throughout the world, adds to strength to our campaign for a better public health system in Australia.

“The NSWNMA now has the support of Global Nurses United as we campaign to have safer nurse-to-patient ratios extended throughout New South Wales’ public hospitals and community health services,” she said. “We also have the support of GNU for our campaign against state and federal government policies of privatising public hospitals.

“Global Nurses United’s member unions have vowed to work together to guarantee the highest standards of universal healthcare as a human right for all, to secure safe patient care, especially with safe nurse-to-patient ratios, and safe workplaces.

“Global Nurses United has only just started, but it is a big, important and positive step for nurses and midwives here in New South Wales, the rest of Australia and around the world, as we step up our resistance to those vested interests that want to put profits before patient care and those governments that support them,” she said.

Judith says there is no doubt working people need a global capacity to respond to the excesses of global capital and its bullying of workers and governments.

“To have an international nursing organisation, with this strong social justice and protection of public services focus, has been an objective of the NSWNMA for many years. It is vital that working people, including nurses and midwives, have global capacity not just state and national capacity here in Australia.

“One of the biggest groups of public sector workers in Australia is nurses and midwives, who keep our free public hospital and community health services going.”