Aged care nurses are about to feel the pinch of the $472 million budget cuts released in the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) yesterday.
As well as being expected to continue providing quality care with reduced resources, nurses are preparing to be further targeted by the Federal Government according to the country’s largest health and aged care union, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF).
“Treasurer Scott Morrison delivered a blow to the aged care sector and demonstrated the government does not recognise the growing needs of caring for our ageing population,” said ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas.
“Ripping out $472 million over three years for aged care providers is going to put pressure on nurses and carers to ensure it does not impact on quality of care across the country. Cuts to Medicare payments for pathology also point to a healthcare system under attack.
“Is the government planning to soften the blow to aged care providers by drastically reducing their wage costs with cuts to penalty rates and loadings?
“The aged care sector provides around-the-clock nursing to the frail aged and many with complex and chronic conditions requiring 24/7 care and shift work for nurses.
“The draft report of the Productivity Commission into workplace relations targeted retail and hospitality workers and our 250,000 members are anxiously awaiting the release of the final report.
“Nurses rely on being fairly compensated for working shifts and in a recent survey 80% told us they would consider abandoning the profession if they lost penalty rates.
“We hope the aged care sector does not suffer another blow when the final Productivity Commission report is released.
“Nurses should be looked after for looking after our most vulnerable community members,” Ms Thomas said.