Nurses will continue industrial action until they stop being taken for granted, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch say.
Friday marked 100 days since they started taking action and have vowed to continue, branch secretary Emily Shepherd said.
“This government is relying on their good will to ensure patients are being kept safe,” she said. “[The nurses] have agreed to look at reviewing afternoon theatre lists at the LGH operating room. They will postpone any surgery that will mean the patients are being operated on when nurses are working overtime, because they believe it is not safe for patients to be operated on in these circumstances.”
Ms Shepherd said it was not appropriate to rely on nurses and midwives to work double shifts and overtime to the tune of $7.5 million dollars just to ensure patients received good care.
“The only way we’ll show the Tasmanian government the hard work you do is to stop doing it,” she said.
However, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has thrown his support behind Health Minister Michael Ferguson.
“This year alone we are spending $400 million more than when we first came to government,” he said. “Michael Ferguson, as health minister, has ensured that there is significant investment.”
Opposition leader Rebecca White said Mr Ferguson had failed to listen.
“All they want is for the government to come to the table and recognise their value,” she said. “The fact that he hasn’t met with nurses in his own electorate is enough evidence for the premier to step in and replace him with someone who actually cares.”
Mr Ferguson said he puts his heart into the job, and would continue to be dedicated.
“Industrial action is always disappointing, especially since we are doing everything we can to boost health services in the North,” he said. “We know there is demand pressure on the LGH and we thank our dedicated and hardworking staff for their incredible work.”
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