The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) is urging members of the public to protect themselves, their family and friends as a new wave of COVID infections sweeps across the country – and support the nurses, midwives and care workers who have supported us all throughout the pandemic.
The ANMF says it is imperative we do ‘all that we can’ to ensure that nurses, midwives and care workers in health and aged care are protected and supported, as health services are placed under enormous strain by growing COVID cases, coupled with the onset of the ‘flu season and other common upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
ANMF Federal Secretary Annie Butler is imploring people to take three simple actions right now:
- Wear a mask indoors;
- Stay home if you’re unwell, and
- Make sure your vaccinations are as up to date as possible.
“Nurses, midwives and care-workers are asking you to support them, so they can keep supporting you,” Ms Butler said today.
“With hospitals, aged care facilities and other health and medical services already under significant strain, large numbers of patients with COVID, the ‘flu and other illnesses have the potential to overwhelm capacity and delay care.
“ANMF members are continuing to do their best, trying to hold our health and aged care services together and make sure people get the care they need when they need it – but after two and half years with no respite, they’re exhausted, they need the community’s support. We need to help protect everyone from COVID and other infectious illnesses and minimise the stress on the health and aged care systems.
“That’s why today, we are asking for the community’s support. At the beginning of the pandemic, around the world people applauded nurses in recognition of their extraordinary work – while that was welcome, we’ve always known that nurses need more than a pat on the back, we need meaningful action.
“And right now meaningful action means taking our three recommended actions – nurses, midwives and healthcare workers will know that if you’re wearing a mask you understand the pressure on our health system and workforce and you’re supporting them.
“It’s pretty simple advice but we understand that people need support to do this. That’s why we’re also calling on the Federal Government to reinstate the pandemic leave disaster payment scheme, ensure that everyone can access reliable COVID tests when they need to, and lead a clear, accessible public health campaign so that the community understands what we’re facing this winter and what’s needed for us to get through it together.”