SA nurses and midwives petition for rural and remote incentives

The SA government reached an agreement with the ANMF SA Branch in 2022 to address the shortage of regional nurses and midwives by improving relocation allowances, increasing assistance with removal costs, and offering greater support with HECS-HELP repayment options, these changes have yet to be implemented.

“We’re deeply concerned that nurses and midwives are just going to continue to disappear from our regional and rural areas. We know how vital it is for rural and regional communities to have access to very good quality healthcare and sadly there’s just not enough of our workforce to meet the demand of our rural and regional communities,” ANMF (SA) CEO/Secretary Adj Associate Professor Elizabeth Dabars told ABC and SA community radio.

“We believe enough is enough. From our perspective we think strong country communities need a strong country workforce. We need to not just pay lip service to the need to promote and encourage people to come to those rural communities, but we actually need to incentivise,” she said.

The ANMF SA Branch had been in negotiations with the SA Department of Health and the state government over recent months. Despite those negotiations, rural and remote nurses and midwives were no closer to an outcome, Ms Dabars said.

The Greens have backed the ANMF SA Branch calling on the state government to deliver on its on 2022 commitment for regional and rural SA.

“It is deeply concerning to hear that hospital services in our regions are being reduced or may close simply because the government has failed to provide the necessary support for nurses and midwives to work in regional locations.

“The state government must listen to ANMF and urgently provide incentives that will ensure that there are enough nurses and midwives to keep regional health services fully functioning. Otherwise, there is a serious risk that people living in the regions will be left unable to access lifesaving healthcare,” said Greens SA Health Spokesperson Robert Simms.

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