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Kempsey nurses see red over patient ratios

The Macleay Argus, 7/2/13

NSW Nurses and Midwives Association members Pip Hupalo, Sherene Fitzjohn, Leanne Klug, Katie Brennan, Donna Bowie, Martina Rosas and Dianne Lohman joined the statewide campaign. Doctors Gavin Striven and Will Kennett (also pictured) lent their support

STAFF at Kempsey District Hospital marked the start of the new financial year yesterday by wearing red.

They joined colleagues from the NSW Nurses and Midwives Association (NSWNWA) in the statewide campaign for fixed nurse-to-patient ratios in rural public hospitals.

The association had organised the action in response to what it views as the NSW government’s attempts to change the law, without consultation, so that any change in ratios are deemed an improvement to working conditions.

NSWNWA branch vice-president and delegate Martina Rosas is unhappy with this.

“We say (our call for ratios) is for patients,” she said.

“I can’t understand how the government can turn its back and say it’s an improvement to nurses’ benefits. That’s obviously unfair.”

And her colleague Dianne Lohman agrees.

“We don’t care so much about the government taking the rise in superannuation contributions out of the agreed 2.5 per cent we got under the last award,” she said.

“We’re not afraid to work hard, but it’s about being safe and giving the community the proper care it deserves.”

Ms Rosas added: “Lots of research shows it (nurse-to-patient ratios) works. It will save money and lives in the long run.”

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