The Victorian public health system is currently affected by severe nursing and midwifery shortages.
This is having a critical impact on our members’ ability to do their jobs and on their wellbeing.
A key factor in the staffing shortage is that more than 1900 healthcare workers, mostly nurses, are furloughed each day. This is happening at the same time we have a rising number of COVID patients and increasing emergency department presentations plus the need to catch up on elective surgery.
We are three years into the pandemic and nurses and midwives have held the frontline for all Victorians. It has taken an extraordinary toll.
ANMF is in discussions with the Department of Health about a range of measures to support nurses and midwives through this phase of the pandemic. We are particularly looking for measures that will build workforce capacity so wards can meet ratios.
We wanted to make sure we had thought of everything.
We sent all Victorian public sector general and mental health members a text message on Monday 16 May 2022 linking to a survey seeking creative and genuine ideas to address the nursing and midwifery staffing shortages.
The short survey specifically asked:
- if your employment is casual, what would encourage you to become permanent?
- if you are part time, what would encourage you to increase your EFT (equivalent full-time) hours (eg from 0.4 to 0.6)?
- if you are full time, what would encourage you to stay full time?
Since we sent the text message, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of so many members who contributed ideas. The survey is now closed.
Many members confirmed what we are proposing. Many members have also provided creative and left-field suggestions that we are considering. As always, we are grateful for your time, effort and support to help your colleagues, your patients and clients and the health system.
We understand that not everyone will have had the energy to respond, particularly if you are already working overtime or double shifts or short staffed. This survey is about better supporting you.