|Issue No 40||19 November 1999|
Hospital Crisis Looms as Nurses Set Deadline
Nurses across the state have given the Health minister Craig Knowles three weeks to resolve a funding crisis in hospitals or face unprecedented industrial action.
The threatened action - which is not linked to any wage claim - comes in response to growing concerns about the state of NSW public hospitals from bed closures, under-funding, budget over-runs, the withdrawal of strategic funding and a general shortage of nurses.
A meeting of 200 NSW Nurses Association delegates this week set the deadline, calling for urgent discussions between Knowles, Association officials and working nurses.
Nurses secretary Sam Moait says her members realise the demand for extra funding may have implications for future wage claims, but they recognise that funding levels are no longer viable.
Moait says stress levels for her members have reached breaking point as they are forced to be the public face of government cost-cutting.
"Nurses at the frontline are having to deal with the aggression of patients and their relatives when told: there's no bed, no staff, no operating list, no doctor to discharge you and just not enough nurses to give you the care you deserve," Moait says,.
Nurses at Westmead Hospital stopped work for two hours today. Additional action is already planned for the North Coast, Illawarra, Nepean, St Vincents Darlinghurst, the Hunter and the Greater Murray. Without the Minister's intervention, Moait says statewide action is inevitable.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005