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Aged care sector rallies for improved staff ratios

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation rallies for more staff on International Nurses Day

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation marks International Nurses Day with the launch of its new, national campaign to fix the crisis in aged care.

Nurses, midwives, carers, families of residents in nursing homes, and other concerned community members came together at events across Australia to call on federal politicians to legislate staffing ratios in aged care facilities as a matter of urgency.

ANFM’s Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said, “International Nurses Day is a day when the whole community can stop and reflect on the amazing contribution nurses make to Australia’s health and aged care systems.”

“That’s what ANMF members are doing today, rallying across the country to show their support for nurses and carers working in nursing homes who are struggling to cope as a result of chronic understaffing and increasingly dangerous workloads.”

Butler said that without mandated staffing ratios, many providers are choosing to employ fewer nurses to care for the increasing number of vulnerable patients.

More than 85 per cent of nursing home residents have complex care needs but from 2003 to 2016 there was a 13 per cent reduction in qualified nursing staff working within the aged care sector.

“We know staffing ratios work well in the public hospital system and in child care centres, and we know they can work in aged care,” said Butler. “This is why ANMF members are standing up for Australia’s elderly and asking the community to join our campaign to make ratios in aged care law now.”

On Saturday’s International Nurses Day, the ANMF asked Australians to acknowledge the nurses and carers working in the aged care sector and the patients they care for and to consider how they can help in the fight for improved staffing.

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