The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) acknowledges the theme of today’s International Nurses Day (IND) – A Force for Change: Care, Effective, Cost Effective.
IND was first declared on 12 May 1974 by the International Council of Nurses (ICN) to celebrate the birthday anniversary of Florence Nightingale.
ANMF Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said this year’s IND theme recognises the need to strengthen and improve health systems and the importance of nurses’ work across the world.
“It’s a day when the community can celebrate the crucial contribution made by nurses to the Australian health system, each and every day, in every hospital and in every community. Twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year, nurses work to improve our health by preventing illness and caring for the sick and injured, the vulnerable and the needy wherever they are and whoever they are,” Ms Thomas said.
“Whilst we accept that as our population continues to grow, healthcare costs will also continue to grow, the Federal Government has a unique opportunity in the 2015-16 Budget to ensure continued sustainability of our health system fairly through increasing efficiencies and eliminating waste. This must be done in close consultation with nurses and other healthcare professionals, in ways which ensure that healthcare is both evidence based and cost-effective, guaranteeing the capacity of nurses to continue their high standard of care delivery.
“Last year, $57 billion was ripped out of the States and Territories’ hospital budgets and preventative health programs. The removal of the commitment to share growth costs and to prevention will make the work of nurses harder and could see patients and their families suffer.
“The ANMF remains concerned that the freeze on doctors’ Medicare rebates could result in fewer bulk billing services and more out of pocket expenses for health consumers, at a time when Australians already suffer one of the highest out of pocket costs ($1075 per annum) for healthcare anywhere in the world.
“The Federal Government must commit to maintaining and strengthening our nation’s successful system of universal healthcare and not continue to erode it by persistent attacks on Medicare or the privatisation of our health system.
“On this day especially we should remember the significant contribution nurses make to our communities.”
ANMF, with over 240,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.