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Nurses and Midwives demand pre-election commitment from political parties

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The Australian Nurses and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) released this statement today as CEO Elizabeth Dabars delivers their Health Policy Position Paper to Minister for Health Jack Snelling and Opposition for Health Rob Lucas, demanding pre-selection commitment from political parties, and, as a matter of urgency the plans to upgrade the infrastructure of the health system as a whole and establish a clear planning and prioritisation framework for the allocation of resources.

The statement in full follows:-

“Today nurses, midwives and personal care assistants have called on the state politicians to commit to specific policies in the lead up to the next State election scheduled in March 2014.

Adj Assoc Professor Elizabeth Dabars, CEO ANMF (SA Branch) will today personally deliver the ANMF (SA Branch) Health Policy Position Paper to Minister for Health Hon Jack Snelling and the Opposition Shadow for Health, Rob Lucas, well before the March 2014 election.

“Our health policy position statement covers a diverse range of health related areas and areas influencing health (the social determinants of health) including housing, employment, climate change and taxation policy.

“We want the public to be secure in having access to free health care, consequentially we have asked the politicians to commit to maintaining a strong Public Health Service, this includes committing not to privatise health services.

“We are also well aware of the current gaps in health services and want these to be filled. Consequentially, we have sought commitments to create nurse practitioner roles in both country and metropolitan areas. These expert nurses would see, treat and discharge people with minor injuries and help people manage chronic diseases. This would have the effect of better utilising the skills of nurses and also ensuring the public has better access to safe, effective and free health services.

“We also want to secure the workforce of the future, given Australia is looking at a shortage of 109,000 nurses by the year 2025, we want all graduate nurses to gain full employment.

“We have also asked for specific commitments to implement internationally recognised best practice guidelines in our health system. This should have the effect of increasing effectiveness whilst also reducing waste and inefficiency”.

“The ANMF (SA Branch) is independent and not affiliated with any political party. We do however seek to influence and lobby on concerns relating to health. We will therefore be publishing the results of the parties responses which we hope will enable people to make informed decisions as to how they vote in March.’

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