ANMF Media Release: ANMF responds to recent State Budget Announcement

14 June 2018

ANMF responds to recent State Budget Announcement

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) is pleased to see a commitment from the Liberal Government to funding some of their election promises in this financial year, however, some were not even forecast in the forward estimates. ANMF have great concerns about the future direction for health, particularly retaining and recruiting Nurses and Midwives across the state.

Some positive outcomes for Tasmanians and the broader health sector include:

  • An addition of $20 million dollars for elective surgery secured for the 2018/2019 financial year.
  • The North West Coast receiving a much-needed addition of funding for a purpose-built antenatal clinical at the North West Regional Hospital (NWRH).
  • Roll out of Community Rapid Response teams in the South and North West of the State.
  • An additional 74 in-patient beds to be opened in this financial year.

In line with election promises, the need for continued growth of Tasmania’s health infrastructure is reflected in the budget. Significant capital works projects feature heavily in the forward estimates to cater for the ever increasing demand on the Tasmanian health system. This is positive progress however it will be some years before the relief is realised.

The funded 76 new beds coming online during the 2018/2019 financial year is welcomed and will aid in relieving some current pressures in Tasmanian hospitals. However, this will require an increase of approximately 110 FTE in nursing staff across the state.

“With current challenges in recruitment and retention and close to 200 vacant nursing and midwifery positions across the state, there is apprehension that the Government will be able to successfully recruit staff to these new positions,” said ANMF Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd.

This also highlights a broader issue facing public sector workers across the state, where poor wage growth means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find appropriately skilled staff willing to take a significant pay cut to relocate or even remain in the state. It is projected that Tasmanian Nurses, Midwives, and Care Workers will be lowest paid in the country by the end of 2019.

“The Minister continually reassures us that he is extremely appreciative of the hard working Nurses, Midwives and Care Workers across the public sector. However, the State Government’s continued 2% wages policy does not reflect this sentiment. Especially in light of large budget surpluses forecast over the next four years,” said Emily Shepherd.

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Media contact: Emily Shepherd
Mobile: 0400 884 021 (NOTE: THIS IS A NEW CONTACT NUMBER)
Email: emily.shepherd@anmftas.org.au