The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) welcomes the ALP’s new Shadow Ministry, saying the appointments of Chris Bowen, Julie Collins and Ged Kearney in the key health and aged care portfolios, respectively, will provide new opportunities to deliver better care outcomes for all Australians.
The ANMF is also confident the Opposition, under new leader Anthony Albanese, will remain committed to the ALP’s pre-election commitment of ‘improving quality of care’ by boosting staffing levels in the under-resourced aged care sector.
“We congratulate Mr Bowen, Ms Collins and Ms Kearney on their respective appointments to the Shadow Ministries,” ANMF Federal Secretary, Annie Butler, said today.
“On behalf of our members, we look forward to working with them all, in order to create the necessary frameworks that are urgently required to strengthen the country’s health and aged care systems.
“Already, Mr Bowen, who’s been appointed Shadow Minister for Health and Ms Kearney, appointed Shadow Assistant Minister for Aged Care, have supported the ANMF’s campaign to fix the crisis in aged care.
“As we know, Ms Kearney is a former nurse who was Federal Secretary of our proud union and in fact, 10 years ago, launched the campaign to introduce mandated ratios, so older Australians get the care they deserve.
“We’re excited that finally, we have someone who understands aged care and understands what has to be done to fix it.”
The ANMF also congratulates another former nurse Helen Haines, who won the Victorian seat of Indi, becoming the first Independent candidate to succeed another Independent in Federal Parliament and South Australian Independent, Rebekha Sharkie, who was re-elected in the seat of Mayo.
In 2018, Ms Sharkie introduced a Private Member’s Bill which would require the publication of staffing ratios in all aged care facilities, a move supported by the ANMF, and the ALP prior to the election, as a first-step in improving the transparency and accountability of government-funded aged care providers.