Nurses Viv Reid and Helen Kearney at the Tweed Civic Centre rally.
Nurses Viv Reid and Helen Kearney at the Tweed Civic Centre rally. Blainey Woodham

Nurses push for 1-4 ratio

WHEN the clock struck 12.30pm yesterday Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah nurses marched out of the hospitals in a bid to highlight the need for adequate nurse-to-patient ratios.

Tweed Heads nurses and midwives marched from The Tweed Hospital to rally outside Tweed Heads Civic Centre in a flurry of banners, signs, flags and T-shirts.

As they marched, calls for having four pati- ents for every one nurse echoed across Tweed.

“What do we want, one to four; when do we want it, now,” was shouted by the protesters.

Tweed Heads branch of the New South Wales Nurses’ Association president Zoe Guina said the rally was about patient care.

“We have no politicians here today, they have let us down.

“This event is about the nurses,” Ms Guina said.

“We want a one-to-four patient ratio for each nurse, at the moment we can look after as many as eight patients.

“The government has refused to come to the table on this and so we will continue this action.”

Ms Guina stood before the rally group and spoke about the importance of the event.

“Nurses rarely go on strike; it is only at times like this when we need real action,” Ms Guina said.

“At Tweed Heads hospital, meeting the budget is more important than patient care, and patients and nurses deserve a better deal then this.”

Murwillumbah NSWNA branch president Sharon Lesleighter said a last-minute venue change did not deter the protesters’ spirits.

“Due to the rain we had to rally at the Murwillumbah RSL,” Ms Lesleighter said.

“We had a great turn-up.”

During her rally speech Ms Leslighter quoted information from a NSWNA publication.

“University research confirms there is a strong link between the number of experienced skilled nurses and safe patient care,” Ms Leslighter said.

Tweed motorists beeped their horns as a sign of support for the rally until the protest came to an end at 2.30pm.



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