Minister opens $1m SCU nursing clinic
By BELINDA SCOTT
HOSPITALS 'are essentially nursing institutions,' the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, told assembled VIPs at the opening of the Coffs Harbour Education Campus' new nursing laboratory yesterday.
The $1.2 million purpose-built clinical nursing laboratory, which includes two state-of-the art simulated hospital wards, was built with $850,000 from Southern Cross University (SCU), sourced from Commonwealth Grants Scheme Funding and $350,000 from the NSW Government's TAFE Minor Works program.
Mr Abbott said the Federal Government was expanding nursing places by almost 3000 a year and he wanted to remind everyone associated with nursing education of the part they played, with nurses doing the lion's share in hospitals and working long hours, often with modest reward.
He said he was also pleased to have presided over an increase in the use of nurses in general practice.
Mr Abbott was joined at the opening by the Federal member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Training, Paul McLeay, the SCU Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Clark, the Coffs Harbour mayor, Cr Keith Rhoades, and other health and education representatives. Professor Paul Clark said there had been strong demand for nursing since it was introduced at Coffs Harbour in 2004. The Minister's visit to CHEC was free of demonstrators, although the presence of two police officers indicated that organisers of his visit were prepared for protestors.