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Second level nursing shouldn't downgrade eldercare

Dr Lynda Scott National Senior Citizens Spokesperson

20 November 2001

Second level nursing shouldn't downgrade elder care

The Government is dumbing down nursing training by reintroducing a one-year nursing course, National Senior Citizens spokesperson Dr Lynda Scott said today.

The Government is bringing back one-year courses to address a nursing shortage across the country.

"Dumbing down training from three years to one year and saying this is all our elderly need is unacceptable.

"The reintroduction of one-year nursing training which will replace the previously phased out 18-month enrolled nurse training, stopped in the early 1990's, should not be used to reduce the level of care in geriatric hospitals.

"I would accept introducing one-year training courses if it would improve the standard of care, and replace aides in the aged care sector. But that won't happen when this Government has given no funding increase to geriatric hospitals and funding is being cut in proposed new contracts for geriatric care.

"Geriatric hospitals are struggling to pay salaries that will stop the flow of our nurses overseas to better paid jobs. This nursing retention problem is directly related to this Government underfunding health.

"Downgrading the training requirement for registered nurses is not an answer for our frailest elderly, adequate funding for care is", said Dr Scott.


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