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Minister Ignored Nurse Shortage Warnings-Shirley

"Hand ringing by the Minister of Health Annette King over the worsening nursing shortage is completely untenable" says ACT Health spokesman Ken Shirley .

In response to a written question from Mr Shirley in May, the Minister said she had “no reports in relation to nursing shortages.”

Mr Shirley said the staff shortage issue was so serious he wrote to every hospital to get a clearer picture of the situation.

“It is simply unacceptable that Annette King, who won widespread support amongst the nursing and medical sector with her promises of more money for wages, is saying it’s a hospital problem, and that she has given them more money for wages."

"She has not".

"There is hardly room for a small increase, let alone a significant increase, and that is why the young Doctors have only been offered two percent".
Mr Shirley said the Minister ignored his warnings and actually gained less money for health in the latest budget than the previous Government added each year.

He said any savings for wage increases must come out of the small increase in the total budget and the hard option for Annette King was the option between increased wages and cuts in services.

"It is little wonder that Annette King is reluctant to front on this issue,” Mr Shirley said.

"Annette King has no answers to the worsening shortage, it exposes the rhetoric behind the expectations she created in opposition amongst nurses, and it spotlights her serious failure to deliver for Health in the Budget".

Mr Shirley said the hospital staff shortage issue will remain a prime embarrassment for Mrs King.

“It’ll strengthen the growing view that the Minister’s forte is talk rather than action,” Shirley said.


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