A statement from ANMF (Vic Branch) Secretary Lisa Fitzpatrick
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) does not support calls for the resignation or sacking of the Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos.
The union has almost 92,000 members – nurses, midwives and aged care personal care workers – across the Victorian health and aged care sectors.
Ms Mikakos has demonstrated she is a hard-working Minister who is across her portfolio. She has provided steadfast leadership through the uncertainty of the pandemic, including in areas that are not her responsibility such as private aged care – a Commonwealth responsibility.
Attending a weekly pandemic response meeting with health union leaders, Ms Mikakos has listened to the ANMF’s concerns and ensured our members’ issues were responded to and has she has intervened to get things done. These meetings are attended by a representative of the Health Workers Union – though not Ms Diana Asmar
Ms Mikakos has also been a champion for improved nurse/midwife patient ratios in Victoria’s public health services steering bills, to improve staffing levels, through the parliament.
She has also demonstrated a deep understanding of why we need to protect the unique triple qualification required to be a maternal and child health nurse in Victoria.
The requirement to be a registered nurse, a registered midwife and hold a postgraduate diploma in child and family health has led to decades of gold standard care for infants and children, post-natal care for mothers and finely tuned early intervention for vulnerable families.
Again, she is steering legislation through the parliament to ensure these qualifications are not watered down by those who want to cut costs and the quality of the service.
ANMF does not usually comment on ALP left and right politics, but on this occasion is concerned that matters unrelated to the health portfolio are at play.
We remain committed to working with the Minister to continue to drive down the impact of the second wave on our members, prevent any third wave of the pandemic and to learn from the work that is being undertaken so that our members are protected into the future.
The ANMF will not make any further comment on this issue.