Government In Hiding EMBARGOED UNTIL 1PM, FRIDAY, JULY 5, 2024

5 July 2024
Government In Hiding
The ANMF (Tasmania) invites the Tasmanian media focus on vacancy issues at Tasmania’s three major hospitals at the ANMF, 182 Macquarie St, Hobart at 1pm, Friday, July 5.
ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said vacancy control cuts are occurring – even though there are hundreds of vacant positions.
“The Rockliff Liberal Government keeps hiding behind data and statistics which does not tell the real story,” Ms Shepherd said. “History is repeating itself – they are not listening to members on the ground.” Ms Shepherd said the issues are significant in each region, including:
North West – Being a remote area and ongoing recruitment difficulties for many years, there is a huge overreliance on agency staff. Many agency nurses will not return for successive contracts as the package compared to a remote area in Queensland – modern accommodation plus more than $20,000 a year more – is just not competitive.
This is having a dire impact on community-based programs such as Community Rapid Response Service, Child Health and Parenting Service and the Palliative Care service.
Solution – Recognise the North-West as a remote area. Develop a workforce strategy and offer competitive packages that tie staff to years of service in the region. THIS WILL NEED A BUDGET ALLOCATION NOT A BUDGET CUT
North – Successive Liberal governments have swept things under the carpet, attempting to avert a bad news story at all costs. This has bled from the very top to successive senior management at the LGH.
The stories heard through the Commission of Inquiry, continuing now as individuals execute their damages cases along with the many patient deaths that have not been appropriately reported, despite being raised by nurses, midwives and the ANMF for many years are a symptom of a learned behaviour to make things appear fine, even when they are not.
Solution – Its time to actually admit to the issues, listen to staff on the ground and actually support staff to rebuild transparency and culture. The best way to do so is to show respect to the hard working and committed staff at the LGH who want to make their hospital safe again and show that the Government values them by giving them the resources they need to fix the problems, not just sweep them under the carpet. THIS WILL NEED BUDGET ALLOCATION NOT A CUT.
South – Given the foreshadowed recruitment nursing and midwifery workforce issues that were further exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, you would think the Rockliff Government would be hell-bent in securing the existing workforce and also recruiting into it.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Only through ANMF members’ industrial action was a wages’ offer put up to support retention and recruitment of nurses and midwives in Tasmania – while all other states and territories were offering huge scholarships and permanency to go and work there.
Worse still, a vacancy control committee has now been established to reduce positions even further with nearly 1000 vacant nursing and midwifery positions across the State.
Make no mistake, this will be a disaster for the nursing and midwifery profession, the health system and the Tasmanian community.


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