Why privatisation is relevant to nurses and midwives

Last week, ex-policeman and provocateur Tim Priest wrote an opinion piece in the Daily Telegraph, in which he accused the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association of being unconcerned about violence in the hospital system, instead being too busy with its anti-privatisation advertising campaign.

Below is the full reply made by Brett Holmes of the NSWNMA – an edited version was published as a letter in the Telegraph on Saturday.

To accuse the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association of being uninterested in the safety of patients and of the dedicated nursing staff in emergency departments is drawing a long bow, even for Tim Priest (Nurses’ union should take truth pill, 16 Oct).

If Mr Priest had practiced what he preached in relation to fact checking, he would be aware the NSWNMA has long held the view – and indeed is still campaigning for – the introduction of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios in the state’s emergency departments. Ratios are a vital element of ensuring safe patient care and safety for nursing staff.

ED ratio

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Posted in: Advocacy, Health funding, NSWNMA, Violence
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My Blue Mountains bushfire experience 2013-2014

Last October a Mental Health RN who lives in the Blue Mountains wrote about her bushfire experience for Nurse Uncut. Now, a year later, she gives us a photo essay on changes since the fire. She writes: “I don’t have a fancy camera to work on because of the urgency of the event at that time.  I chose to use the same mobile phone to maintain consistency of the quality – acceptable and tolerable to the eye”.



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Posted in: Interviews and Features
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Medicare is not ‘free’ – and it’s not in crisis either

‘The age of entitlement is over’, we’re told. But aren’t we entitled to a decent health care system because we pay for it and voted for it (and because it’s the right thing for all Australians)? Annie Butler, Assistant Federal Secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, examines some of the arguments floating around about Medicare.

As we now struggle with protecting our health system from the Federal Budget proposals and all this will bring, I find I am genuinely perplexed by persistent propositions from some quarters that health care in Australia is ‘free’. And therefore, that the budget measures for mandatory co-payments are warranted and fair because ‘you can’t get something for nothing’, ‘it’s about time we all paid a fair share’ and ‘the age of entitlement is over’ and other such platitudes.


Listening to all of this I have to ask myself, in all seriousness, what planet are these people on? Are they in some parallel universe version of Australia where the government collects its revenue from some other source than taxation of its people?

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Posted in: Advocacy, ANMF, Health funding
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How long do you get for handover?

An RN who works in a multi-purpose service would like to know how much time other nurses get for handover.

My work only allows us 15 minutes to hand over up to 34 residential clients plus up to 12 acute (hospital) clients.

So my question is how long do the residential care facilities that you work in allow for handover and how many clients are being handed over?


Please give your answers below in comments.

Image credit: Nursing History on Flickr


Posted in: Employment issues, Nursing - Aged Care, Tips and Advice

Alan’s 50 years of nursing…

Sue-ellen Blomfield, Director of Nursing at Northern Coalfields Community Care at Rothbury in the Hunter Valley, honours a colleague who recently retired after 50 years as a nurse.

Alan Baird, who has dedicated 50 years of his life to helping others, retired in March from his position as Manager Clinical Quality, Northern Coalfields Community Care.

Alan joined the NSW Nurses Association, as it was then, in 1986 and soon became President of the Nurse Managers Branch Hunter region, a position he held for a number of years.

Alan Baird cropped

Alan’s retirement celebration.

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Posted in: Men in nursing, NSWNMA, Nursing - Aged Care
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