State Budget fails to invest in Nursing and Midwifery Workforce

27 August 2021

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) has welcomed the new funding commitments in the 2021 State Budget which are in line with the some of the key priorities that ANMF called for in the budget consultation process. These budget allocations include: 

  • $18.3 million dollars for permanently staffing the district hospital staffing model 
  • $27.5 million dollars for community-based health care, including expansion of community rapid response teams and mental health hospital in the home in the North West 
  • $8 million to the Hobart District Nurses and Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Educators 
  • $5.4 million to employ an additional 11.4 full time Grade 4 Nurses, and 3 Full Time Clinical Nurse Educators in schools 
  • $41.2 million dollars to fully fund the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CHAMS) Review Report and recommendations 

The infrastructure that is desperately needed to accommodate to create additional capacity and in-patient beds will also be welcomed by members who are struggling daily in acute public hospitals with demand for services and in-patient beds. The additional infrastructure commitments include: 

  • $12 million to commence LGH Masterplan Mental Health Precinct 
  • $20 million for the new North West Regional Hospital Mental Health Facility 
  • $110 million for the expanded stage 2 at the Royal Hobart Hospital 
  • $7.5 million for the new Angiography Suite at the Royal Hobart Hospital 
  • $3.5 million for the Midlands Multi-Purpose Centre redevelopment 
  • $10 million for the Mersey Community Hospital redevelopment 

“However, what is not in the budget is a significant investment to immediately address the critical staffing issues affecting the nursing and midwifery workforce in Tasmania,” Ms Shepherd said. 

“The additional 120 nurses that are committed are to deliver the elective surgeries and staff the additional capacity. The Government has committed $15.7 million dollars to implement the Health Workforce Strategy 2040 in this budget. 

“There is no doubt that it is critical that the health workforce requires this strategy and the ANMF has been calling for one for decades. 

“However, the situation is so dire right now for many nurses and midwives across the public health system who are extremely tired and burnt out and yet there is no funding to immediately assist with recruitment to entice experienced nurses and midwives to Tasmania, nor support the workforce who is stretched so thin assist with the COVID-19 response while dealing with health service delivery as usual. 

“This budget has completely missed the mark, with investments in major infrastructure, business, and community, but has no investment in the health workforce who have been relied upon to keep Tasmanians safe during a global pandemic.” 

Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021