Nurses and midwives have welcomed the Federal Government’s backdown over threats to jail health professionals who publically spoke out about the poor conditions experienced by asylum seekers in offshore detention centres.
The ANMF and its members had conducted a nation-wide campaign against the Border Force Act 2015 - which had threatened health workers with jail terms of up to two years.
Federal Secretary Lee Thomas said the ANMF was pleased the Government had listened to nurses, midwives, doctors and other health professionals who had all fought against the “gag order” placed on them under the Act.
Ms Thomas welcomed the Government’s backdown, describing it as a “victory for common sense”.
“Our members were appalled by attempts to silence them and stop them from telling the truth about what they saw in places like Nauru,” Ms Thomas said.
“This law had threatened the moral integrity of the nursing and midwifery professions and we were never going to allow that to happen.
“We’re pleased the Government has listened to us and it means that nurses and midwives can continue to carry out proper, basic health care for patients in their care and meet their moral and professional obligations in reporting any instances of sub-standard care and harm and abuse.”
ANMF, with over 250,000 members, is the professional and industrial voice for nurses, midwives and assistants in nursing in Australia.
ANMF media inquiries: 0411 254 390.