Home | Industry & Reform | Government program to help nurse burnout
Federal Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney. Picture: Supplied/Facebook

Government program to help nurse burnout

A $25.2m government program for nurses is being funded in hopes of combatting burnout, stress, and abuse that leads them to leave the industry.

The Nurse Midwife Health Program Australia is in its first phase with a support service through telehealth (1800 001 060) and a website where nurses can seek advice and referrals when needed.

The next phase will see four in-person hubs set up. One to cover Victoria and Tasmania, NSW and the ACT, South Australia and Western Australia, and Queensland and the Northern Territory.

These services will offer both face-to-face and telehealth services.

Under the program, nurses will be employed to counsel the stressed, burnt-out, or abused nurses.

Assistant Health and Aged Care Minister Ged Kearney said the program was long overdue.

"Australia's health care system is powered by the sweat, hearts, and expertise of nurses and midwives – it's vital that we look after the health and wellbeing of the people who look after us," she said.

"As a former nurse, I understand just how challenging nursing and midwifery can be.

"They're physically demanding and psychologically taxing jobs."

Data from the Department of Health and Aged Care shows that since 2016, there has been a 60 per cent increase in nurses who have taken an extended leave of absence.

Research by the Australian Primary Healthcare Nurses Association also found that 30 per cent were planning to leave their job within the next five years.

The Department of Health and Aged Care revealed that residential aged care faces a gap of 5,918 nurses by 2024-25 – an improvement of only 44 from government forecasts during the December quarter.

Since September 2022, 54 aged-care homes have been closed due to staffing reforms such as 24/7 mandatory registered nurses (RN) and minimum-care requirements, with a further seven facilities closing from October to December last year.

The sector is racing to comply with the upcoming 215 minutes of care, including 44 minutes of RN care starting from October 1 of this year.

Estimates from the Department of Health and Aged Care revealed 30 per cent of facilities had met the government's current 200 target minutes, with officials unable to reveal if homes would meet the new requirements.

Federal assistant secretary of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Lori-Anne Sharp welcomed the program.

"It's nurses helping nurses," Ms Sharp said.

"Some of the emotional stresses of what they witness every day when dealing with people so closely and looking after them and their families can put them at risk of burnout."

Do you have an idea for a story?
Email [email protected]

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the top stories in our weekly newsletter Sign up now

One comment

  1. Rebecca Farrell

    It would be just and fair if the perpetrators were managed according to various codes of conduct and legislative requirements, instead of being covered up

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *