Kempsey nurses rally for better ratios in the bush

Members from Kempsey District Hospital Branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will rally outside the local hospital tomorrow (Thursday, 4 December) as part of a campaign calling for improved nurse-to-patient ratios in Peer Group C hospitals across the state.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said ongoing speculation that the NSW Liberal-National Government was considering privatising the medical imaging department within the hospital was also of great concern to local nurses.

“Our members oppose the privatisation of any public health services,” Mr Holmes said.

“As strong advocates for safe patient care, our members know that keeping health services in public hands is vital to ensure the equitable provision of universal health care to all residents of Kempsey and the surrounding areas.

“Members plan to highlight how many regional hospitals, including Kempsey, have less adequate nurse-to-patient ratios compared to selected wards in metropolitan hospitals, despite international research confirming increased nursing care leads to better health outcomes for patients.”

Local branch members are seeking support for improved nurse-to-patient ratios (one nurse to four patients) to be mandated by the NSW Liberal-National Government and are calling on the Member for Oxley and former NSW Nationals leader, Andrew Stoner, to back the campaign and to oppose the privatisation of public health services.

Mr Holmes said the branch members were also calling on Mr Stoner to use his remaining time in office to stand up for the people of Kempsey.

“Andrew Stoner is set to retire at the March 2015 state election and the Kempsey NSWNMA branch want him to know he can create a real legacy for his electorate by supporting nurse-to-patient ratios.”

The Kempsey District Hospital Branch confirmed it would approach all local candidates standing for the upcoming election to supporting the NSWNMA’s claim to extend nurse-to-patient ratios to regional areas.

**Members of the NSWNMA will rally outside the main entrance of Kempsey District Hospital in River Street from 3:30pm TOMORROW, Thursday 4 December 2014, to raise awareness of their campaign with the local community. Media are welcome to attend.