Hundreds of nurses and midwives have sent a message to political naysayers and media commentators who have publicly criticised the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association’s (NSWNMA) election campaigning efforts.
During a Committee of Delegates meeting in Sydney last night, a passionate crowd of almost 300 nurses and midwives from across the state held branch placards and chanted “Nurses and midwives – we don’t tell lies!”
The nurses and midwives were responding to recent attacks by politicians, including Liberal and National Party MPs, as well as media commentators who have taken umbrage with the NSWNMA’s Patients before Profits campaign.
General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, said he was proud of the enthusiasm shown by the delegates and their preparedness to stand up against unsubstantiated attacks on their campaign.
“For several years we have been raising awareness around the impact of privatisation of public health services and the likely consequences if governments continue to hand these services over to non-government and for-profit organisations,” Mr Holmes said.
“After just one term in office, the Liberal-Nationals have begun privatising sub-acute and rehabilitation mental health services, privatised new palliative care services, while disability and home care services will all be privatised by 2018 – there’s no sugar-coating the facts, this is happening already.
“We’re also seeing a return to the failed model of Public-Private Partnerships in health. The Liberal-Nationals have signed over the new Northern Beaches Hospital under a 20 year contract to private provider, Healthscope. Plans for the new Maitland-Lower Hunter Hospital at Metford are shrouded in secrecy and they’re even market testing the delivery of surgical services for the new Byron Central Hospital, despite telling the community otherwise during consultations.
“Our Patients before Profits campaign specifically highlights concerns over the privatisation of public hospitals and health services, coupled with the attacks on the universality of Medicare and the encroaching level of private insurers into primary care – this is taking us down the path of an Americanised health system, which is heavily privatised, costs patients more and has worse health outcomes.”
The NSWNMA delegates vowed to continue campaigning on behalf of their patients and broader communities to ensure everyone is well informed on the privatisations occurring in the NSW public health system.
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