Townsville nurses and midwives prepare to take on State Government over local job cuts
Published: 5 September 2012
1. Major rally outside Townsville Hospital today
2. QIRC in Townsville tomorrow to deal with the issue
3. Newman has no idea what he is talking about
Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) members, across the Townsville Hospital and Health Service, are gearing up to take on the State Government over local hospital and community health service job cuts, as the premier, Campbell Newman, makes foolish comments about the importance of records and case histories to safe and effective patient care.
They will hold a protest rally, with other health workers, outside the Townsville Hospital today.
Queensland Industrial Relation Commission (QIRC) deputy president, Adrian Bloomfield, will be in Townsville tomorrow to further assess the issue, following an urgent conference in the QIRC yesterday afternoon, 4 September.
Townsville region health job cuts protest rally details
Wednesday, 5 September 2012 Time:
12.00noon – 1.00pm Venue:
Townsville Hospital front entrance, Angus Smith Dr, Douglas QNU speaker:
Assistant secretary, Des Elder
On Tuesday of this week the State Government, through its local health board, announced the cutting of 131 positions, including 45 positions from the nursing division, across the Townsville Hospital and Health Service. This includes:
- The Townsville Hospital
- Ayr Health Service
- Cardwell Community Health Centre
- Charters Towers Health Centre
- Eventide Nursing Home - Charters Towers
- Rehabilitation Unit - Charters Towers | Tertiary Mental Health Service
- Home Hill Hospital
- Hughenden Health Centre
- Ingham Community Health Service
- Ingham Health Service
- Joyce Palmer Health Service (Palm Island)
- Magnetic Island Health Centre
- Richmond Health Centre
Please note: The service also has a range of Community Mental Health Services and Community Health Services. The Townsville Hospital is the tertiary referral, acute care hospital for the Northern Zone of Queensland Health.
The State Government has also hinted at the loss of a further 70 positions in the next round of cuts.
QNU secretary, Beth Mohle, said this action is nothing but an out-and-out broken promise by the LNP State Government and nurses and midwives will not stand for it.
“Nor will they stand for the verbal gymnastics being used by the State Government in an attempt to deflect blame and confuse the issue. A major campaign to protect public hospital services and safe patient care has now started and the State Government can expect to have a very tough time of it. It has no mandate for these job cuts. The QNU has warned the government from day one that we will fight hard to keep nursing and midwifery strong and that is now what we intend to do.
“Major gains have been made in recent years to improve nursing and midwifery staffing levels across Queensland. Safe nursing and midwifery workloads are vital to quality health care, as are clinical back up services such as clinical nurse consultants and nurse educators.
“Comments by the premier yesterday, attacking record keeping and case history assessments, suggest he has absolutely no idea how hospitals and health care works. These are foolish comments and it is embarrassing for Queensland that such a senior politician would make them. (See transcript attached.)
“Accurate patient records, patient notes and case histories are vital to safe patient care. The considered assessment of such documentation, by experienced clinicians, is central to achieving things like accurate diagnoses, effective therapy and safe handovers between clinical units and shifts. Does Mr Newman seriously think such activities are just an optional extra for nurses, midwives and doctors? If so, then heaven help us,” Ms Mohle said.
More details of the QNU’s campaign to protect Queensland’s public hospital and healthcare system and safe patient care, from the State Government’s over-reaction to Queensland’s post-GFC and post-natural disasters budget situation and its ideological support for outsourcing and expensive private healthcare, will be released as they are developed in the coming days and weeks.
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