Nurses and midwives are ramping up their campaign for nurse/midwife-to-patient ratios and will launch a TV advertisement across metropolitan and regional New South Wales today, warning voters of the side effects from chronic understaffing in public hospitals.
Following four historic statewide strikes last year, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) is now targeting state election candidates of all political stripes to support nurses and midwives by backing shift by shift ratios in their local hospitals.
NSWNMA General Secretary, Shaye Candish, said the ad campaign, which urges people to ‘vote like your life depends on it, because one day it might’, puts health and wellbeing front of mind for voters, who will continue to lose without safe staffing ratios.
“We have lost far too many experienced nurses and midwives because NSW is the last mainland state yet to commit to nurse and midwife to patient ratios,” said Ms Candish.
“It’s beyond abhorrent, it’s shameful. NSW should be leaders in this space but instead we are being left behind.
“We know from talks with nurses and midwives across the state, they are fatigued and burnt out, feeling stressed and constantly worried they are letting their patients down,” said Ms Candish.
“Nurses and midwives are being overworked, meaning they are responsible for too many patients and can’t safely care for our communities the way they were professionally trained, and our public health system is buckling the under pressure as a result.
“Patients are being forced to wait too long to receive treatment in hospitals and this is having a ripple effect through the public health system. It must change for the sake of our loved ones seeking care, but also to sustain and enhance the nursing and midwifery workforce in NSW.
“There’s growing peer-reviewed evidence that shows safe staffing ratios save lives, improve patients’ health outcomes, and save governments money. We need ratios in NSW hospitals now.”
The NSWNMA has also launched a new community facing website as part of its campaign: www.ratios4nsw.com.au
Download this release: Ratios ad campaign