Red News Readers,
My letter to the SMH in support of a letter from a nurse today, 26.1.09:
I couldn't have said it better myself Andrew Hopton of Prestons. The public need to carefully take note of Andrew's letter. Despite the money spent on the Garling Report, despite the public concern about standards of care in the health system, NSW Health and health system managers are continuing to deskill the nursing workforce in the name of budgetary efficiency, certainly not better standards of care, and those who should be watchdogs and raising concerns and issues of public interest. are actually puppy dogs lying on their backs getting their tummies scratched! It is time for the public to be alert and alarmed.
As an enrolled nurse, and trainee registered nurse, I write in the hope that John Della Bosca and Jillian Skinner will take note. Axing an avenue for people to become enrolled nurses and then registered nurses risks plunging the state's health care into further peril ("Infighting leaves nurses in limbo", January 23).
Look at the figures for nursing released by the Health Department. Even if every nurse were to graduate in 2010, there would still be a big shortfall in nursing numbers.
This cannot be solved by the introduction of an underqualified workforce. The Labour Party (and Mr Della Bosca in particular) is flagrantly abusing the health care system with the introduction of assistants in nursing to substitute for registered and enrolled nurses.
Worse is that the Nurses Association of NSW has allowed the rights of nurses to be eroded, and sanctions the use of assistants in nursing in place of registered and enrolled nurses in hospitals and mental health units.
The public's days of receiving treatment from qualified registered and enrolled nurses are numbered as a result. This means patients may be taken care of by somebody who is underqualified and unregistered, and therefore unaccountable for their actions on the hospital floor, and the overall standard of care in the health system will suffer. Lives are at risk.
If Mr Della Bosca has faith in the introduction of this system, presumably he would not mind if the treatment of a member of his family were in the hands of such a person.
Andrew Hopton Prestons