Coffs nurses join strike

NURSES in public hospitals on the Coffs Coast are joining today’s statewide strike by members of the NSW Nurses Association.

The industrial action was being taken across more than 170 NSW public hospitals in support of establishing safe minimum nurse-to-patient ratios.

Nurses want to see guaranteed ratios of one nurse to every four patients, saying this is the minimum ratio for safe patient care.

A spokesperson for the North Coast Area Health Service said it wanted to reassure the community all public hospital emergency departments would be open as normal.

“Any member of the public with a serious health matter should attend their local emergency department as normal, while people with non-urgent matters are encouraged to contact their GP or HealthDirect for advice on 1800 022 222,” a North Coast Area Health Service spokesman said.

“We acknowledge the nurses who will be working in NSW public hospitals today, which will ensure safe patient care, will continue to be delivered.

Some planned surgery will need to be rescheduled, but the impact on patients will vary from hospital to hospital, depending on the level of industrial action.

All affected patients whose planned surgery will be impacted are being contacted by their local hospital and being rescheduled for the next available time.

NCAHS recognises the invaluable role of our nurses and midwives and seeks a fair and timely resolution for nurses and midwives working in the NSW public health system.”

Coffs Harbour Base Hospital nurses would be on strike from 7am until 3.30pm and Coffs Harbour community nurses would strike from 8.30am to 5pm.

Bellingen and Dorrigo hospitals and Coffs Harbour mental health nurses would be on strike for two hours during the middle of the day and Macksville Hospital would be on strike for one hour from 1.30-2.30pm.

A contingent of nurses from Coffs Harbour is attending today’s special general meeting of the NSWNA at Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre at Homebush.

Nurses said current night duty staffing levels would be maintained in each health facility during today’s strike and nurses and midwives would provide life-preserving services at all times.



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