ANMF calls for urgent injection of public hospital funding

The country’s largest union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), is calling for urgent funding and resourcing of Australia’s overstretched public hospital system to ensure that health professionals can deliver safe, quality care to the community.

With its members working on the frontline of public healthcare settings, the ANMF is increasingly concerned about the state of our public hospitals across the country: from the lack of beds and ‘ambulance ramping’; delays in elective surgeries, decreases in ED performances and shortages of nurses and doctors, all stemming from Federal Government under-resourcing.

“The Government must use its National Cabinet to show genuine national leadership and urgently reform public health funding so that it is fair and equitable, and crucially so that health professionals can deliver safe, quality care to people who need care when they need it,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.

“Our public hospitals are beyond over-stretched, and ANMF members across all sectors including aged care, are run off their feet, day in, day out. What’s apparent is that the care they can provide to the community is clearly being compromised. As reported by our members and supported by the AMA’s Public Hospital Report Card, ED performance is declining, ambulance ramping is occurring across the country and the nurses, midwives, doctors and paramedics trying to hold the system together are at breaking point.

“The COVID pandemic demonstrated just how important a strong, resilient public health system that is properly funded to cope with surges in demand. We need to ensure that we don’t now neglect the system and cause unsustainable pressure on our healthcare professionals.

“The ANMF is urging the Government to return to a funding model that grows in response to ballooning demand and costs suffered by our public hospitals and improves every Australian’s access to quality public health services, including elective surgery, EDs and subacute care. We are also asking the Government to urgently address the factors exacerbating the pressures on the public health system, including improving primary health care services and, critically, ensuring better health care delivery in aged care through better staffing.

“Extra funding for our public hospitals can’t wait. Access to adequate healthcare is the right of every Australian.”

Ms Butler said the ANMF is supporting the AMA in calling for increased funding with a shared 50-50 Commonwealth-State funding model for public hospitals, the need to address demand, improve performance and expand capacity.

ANMF media release. Authorised by Annie Butler, ANMF Federal Secretary. 1/365 Queen St, Melbourne. 

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