Nurses in the region will take industrial action tomorrow to force the State Government to introduce minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses are pictured protesting outside Lismore Base Hospital last year.
Nurses in the region will take industrial action tomorrow to force the State Government to introduce minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. Nurses are pictured protesting outside Lismore Base Hospital last year. David Nielsen

Nurses and midwives to strike

NURSES and midwives at hospitals across the Northern Rivers will go on strike tomorrow as part of a statewide campaign.

The NSW Nurses’ Association is calling for the introduction of mandated, minimum nurse-to-patientratios, which would mean one nurse to every four patients.

Union members at Lismore Base Hospital will strike for two hours, as will staff at other local hospitals, including:

  • Ballina Hospital – three-hour strike;
  • Campbell Hospital at Coraki – strike followed by a meeting;
  • Casino District Hospital – no strike, but ‘members to support by performing clinical duties asrequired’;
  • Kyogle Memorial Hospital – strike and rally out the front of the hospital between 1pm and 2pm;
  • Mullumbimby District Hospital – strike from midday to 1pm. One representative from the hospital will travel to the main rally in Sydney and strike for eight hours;
  • Nimbin Multi Purpose Service – two-hour strike;
  • Urbenville Multi Purpose Service – one-and-a-half hour strike.

The union says lower nurse-to-patient ratios will provide ‘safer patient care in the over-stretched NSW hospital and healthcare system’.

NSWNA general secretary, Brett Holmes, said thousands of nurses and midwives would ignore attempts by the Health Department to intimidate them out of striking.

“They are very determined and will take a strong stand,” he said.

“They will show the State Government that nurses and midwives believe this is a pivotal moment for the NSW health system.”

Mr Holmes said nurses, midwives and patients were ‘at risk every day’.

He also said medication error rates were rising and that staff often faced disciplinary and legal risks.


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