Nurses and midwives take Goulburn’s temperature on public health

The NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) will put health at the top of the agenda for the local Member of Parliament and candidates in the March 2015 state election at a forum in Goulburn on Friday 5 December.

Members from Goulburn Base Hospital branch of the NSWNMA approached candidates from a range of political parties to address the health forum and take questions from the local community.

Speakers include incumbent Goulburn MP Pru Goward, Labor candidate Dr Ursula Stephens, Greens candidate Iain Fyfe and Christian Democrats Party candidate Adrian Van Der Byl.

General Secretary of the NSWNMA, Brett Holmes, who will also address the forum, said ongoing discussions about potential changes to public health facilities and the scaling back of essential health services had generated plenty of interest within the regional city and surrounding areas.

“The people of Goulburn want to know what is being planned for them into the future and are rightly concerned about their access to vital public health services,” Mr Holmes said.

“With cuts to ongoing health funding at both a state and federal level, the local community deserves to know what lies ahead in relation to the provision of public health services; hospital infrastructure plans; commitments to palliative and other aged care services; as well as the impact of a GP co-payment and the sell-off of Medicare.

“As advocates of safe patient care, our local members have been seeking support for nurse-to-patient ratios (one nurse to four patients) to be mandated in Peer Group C hospitals, which includes Goulburn Base Hospital, to improve patient care and health outcomes.

“Our members are calling on candidates of all political persuasions to back nurse-to-patient ratios for Goulburn Base.”

Jane Cotter, secretary of Goulburn Base Hospital branch, said members were also planning a series of photo opportunities around the city to highlight the need for nurse-to-patient ratios to be introduced across Peer Group C hospitals.

“Currently, only selected wards in metropolitan hospitals have ratios of one nurse to four patients in place. International research shows increasing the amount of nursing care leads to better health outcomes for patients, why should the people of Goulburn miss out on that level of care?” Mrs Cotter said.

“We’re encouraging as many people as possible to come along to the health forum and share their experiences but also talk about their expectations for public health service delivery into the future.

“We want to make sure the Goulburn community receives the attention it deserves at the upcoming state election and we’ll continue to advocate in the best interests of our patients.”

Further details of the local health forum to be held on 5 December 2014 at Goulburn Soldiers Club are in the attached flyer. Media are welcome to attend. 

Download this media release: Nurses and midwives take Goulburn’s temperature on public health

Download the flyer: Goulburn Shine a Light on Health

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