The country’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), has welcomed the Abbott Government decision to commit a further $20 million to staffing and supporting a new 100-bed Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone.
ANMF Federal Secretary, Lee Thomas, described the decision, which followed two months of lobbying the Government by the ANMF and other health groups, as a relief and a “terrific first step”.
“For the past eight weeks, the ANMF has been calling on the Government to get involved in the international relief effort in West Africa because we know that containing this Ebola outbreak at its’ source is the best way to defeat it,” Ms Thomas said today.
“That’s why we are very pleased to see the Government’s response in West Africa and plans for increased preparedness at home, including a commitment to use Australian teams and provide additional funding for counties in our region if needed.
“But we know that we can do more.
“We have 350 Australian nurses who have already told the ANMF they are ready and willing to volunteer in West Africa.
“These nurses are highly trained healthcare professionals, passionate about working on the ground in West Africa, with the skills and expertise to ensure that the Ebola epidemic is contained at the source.
“The Government needs to do more by directly training, organising and providing the logistical support for a deployment of Australian nurses and other health professionals to Ebola hotspots so they can join other nurses and healthcare workers from around the world in the Ebola fight.”
Download this ANMF media release: Ebola Crisis: Mr Abbott, we can do more