Australia’s largest health union, the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF), has backed a new push for additional health workforce funding for rural and remote regions.
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The Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN) announced today that it will meet with Government and Coalition MPs this week for a “pre-election commitment in relation to five priorities which aim to enhance and increase the health workforce in rural and remote areas”, including nursing, allied health and dentistry.
ANF Assistant Secretary, Yvonne Chaperon, said today ARHEN’s call for more funding aligns with the ANF’s ongoing campaign to find funding solutions to address Australia’s nursing and midwifery crisis, particularly in high-need rural and remote communities.
Extreme concern over shortage of highly-trained nurses, midwives
“The ANF continues to be extremely concerned by the increasing shortage of highly-trained nurses and midwives and the limited employment opportunities for Australia’s graduate nurses and midwives,” Ms Chaperon said.“As a nation, we need to urgently start building a future nursing and midwifery workforce to replace the current staff, retiring over the next 15 to 20 years, with 90,000 highly trained nurses expected to retire. That’s why it is crucial that more nursing and midwifery graduates are employed in order to build a sustainable workforce into the future.
Not enough incentives for rural practice
“Rural and remote communities are areas of real need for highly-trained nursing and midwifery professionals, resulting in increased workloads for the existing nursing workforce, which continues to compromise the care delivered to these communities.“Highly-trained nurses midwives are vital in delivering safe patient care throughout regional and remote communities, which more often than not experience limited access to health services, yet there just aren’t enough incentives to allow nurses and midwives to move into rural practice.