The Health Minister is putting politics ahead of patients’ lives with the latest offer to nurses and midwives an empty promise until after the next election, Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.
“This so-called offer to introduce nurse/midwife to patient ratios in 2025 if they can find the staff is a plan for a plan and is an insult to the frontline health workers that are at breaking point right now,” Ms Mettam said.
“It’s an insincere offer that lacks any urgency to fix the healthcare crisis happening in our health system, which is hanging by a thread thanks to a workforce that is continuing to prop it up.
“Nurses and midwives have consistently been asked to do overtime and double shifts to ensure patients are cared for, but they are burnt out and don’t see a possible solution in three years’ time as the answer.”
Ms Mettam said it was clear the WA Labor government was out of touch with what is happening in its health system. “The Health Minister refuses to take any responsibility for the crisis that is happening under her watch,” Ms Mettam said.
“There is a clear disconnect between the government’s spin and the reality facing our health workers in our hospital system and the government can’t keep sticking its head in the sand.
“Our nurses and midwives went from being the best paid in the country to one of the worst under this government and after several years of wage caps, it’s only reasonable they expect a fair wage negotiation.”
Ms Mettam said with other states advertising in WA to lure nurses and midwifes interstate with better pay and conditions and a workforce shortage, now is not the time to play hard ball with these critical frontline health workers.
“Our WA nurses and midwives have been forced to shoulder an enormous burden during the past couple of years when many left the State or were locked out due to the closed border.
“The health minister needs to put politics and her union links aside and negotiate in good faith to ensure patient care is not compromised and every single nurse and midwife is retained. With the health system in dire straits, we can’t afford to lose any more experienced staff.”