Everything helps, medi-hotels will ease some pressure

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch)

Medi-hotels for low acuity COVID patients, not yet ready for discharge, will help ease some pressure on our beyond-stretched public hospitals.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch) welcomes the Andrews Government’s decision to operate a hospital-in-the-home service from two medi-hotels in Epping and Melbourne’s CBD.

ANMF (Vic Branch) Acting Secretary Paul Gilbert said: ‘These new services will free up beds for Victorians, but importantly they will ease the pressure on the nurses caring for COVID patients.

‘Even if the effect is things do not get worse, that is something right now.

‘Victorians need to know every nurse and midwife in our hospitals and health services is working above and beyond anything experienced before trying to care for an increasing number of patients with fewer staff because they are COVID positive or are close contacts.

‘The furloughing of thousands of staff, causing the last-resort move to surge workforce models, is taking a toll on exhausted nurses and midwives who’ve worked through this pandemic in varying degrees of crisis-mode for almost two years,’ Mr Gilbert said.

Between 5000 and 7000 nurses and midwives are furloughed daily, about five per cent of the total workforce.

‘We can’t replace up to 7000 nurses and midwives and the staff shortages are having an extreme impact on staff and patients. Please be patient, kind and understanding and do everything you can to stay well and out of hospital.

‘ANMF is meeting with our members across the state to hear their concerns and work with them to ease the pressure in small ways, such as ensuring breaks are taken, understanding the furloughing guidelines and special leave if a contact or if they contract the virus, where we can,’ Mr Gilbert said.

‘Nurses and midwives don’t want to be called heroes and don’t want to be placed in a position where they have to be one. But we are seeing many extraordinary leaders rise in response to this crisis to support their colleagues who may not be doing so well,’ Mr Gilbert said.

‘We are all hoping this crisis is weeks-long, but not months.’

ANMF (Vic Branch) has more than 95,000 members – nurses, midwives and aged care personal care workers – across the Victorian health, mental health and aged care sectors.

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