The Palmer United Party has thrown its weight behind the ANMF’s ongoing campaign to improve nurse to patient staffing ratios in aged care.
ANMF leaders met with senator Glenn Lazarus in Canberra earlier this week and say the PUP senate leader pledged his commitment to resolving what the federation described as a nursing crisis in the sector.
ANMF federal secretary Lee Thomas said that with a current shortfall 20,000 aged care nurses nationwide Lazarus agreed with the need for urgent measures to address the workforce problem.
“The Senator appreciated these concerns and the lack of quality care in some nursing homes because of poor staffing, as these issues had also been raised by community members in his home state of Queensland,” Thomas said.
“With a rapidly ageing population, it is crucial that we have enough qualified nurses to care for older Australians living in nursing homes because the lack of mandated staffing levels is currently putting patients at risk.
Thomas thanked Lazarus for his support of the campaign saying she hoped the Senator would raise the issue with Health Minister Sussan Ley.
In a broadside Thomas added that Ley had so far refused to meet with the ANMF despite a pledge by the minister to be more consultative with the health sector regarding any reform measures.
In a statement to Nursing Review, Ley said that the ANMF had previously been offered a "meeting with my office to discuss Australia’s health system particularly Medicare".
"I am hopeful to meet with all key stakeholders, including the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, throughout the consultation," she said.
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