BYELECTION candidates will be asked to formally support the introduction of mandated nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter Hospital’s emergency department.
The campaign by the Nurses and Midwives’ Association comes after NSW Health documents released this month stated an extra 500,000 people would choke NSW emergency departments each year if Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s GP co-payment was passed.
Union organiser Laura McKone said nurses at the John Hunter emergency department were so “strapped” recently they had to bring in staff from other wards to help them cope.
Union members have endorsed a plan to find out which Newcastle and Charlestown candidates will pledge support to having mandated 1:3 nurse-to-patient ratios at John Hunter’s emergency department. A letter has been sent to candidates asking them to write back with their position.
Their responses will be revealed at a Newcastle Trades Hall meeting that candidates have been invited to on Thursday.
Read more about the byelections and candidates here