NSW Labor to deliver more than 4,900 extra health and hospital workers

A Daley Labor Government deliver an additional 4,900 health and hospital workers – including paramedics, allied health workers, security staff, cleaning and support staff – to support existing staff so they can provide the best patient care.

NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley made the announcement alongside Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord and Health Services Union NSW Secretary Gerard Hayes.

The more than 4,900 additional health workers will include:

  • 1,500 additional paramedics;
  • 2,240 additional cleaning and support personnel – and allied health workers including audiologists, nutritionists, occupational therapists, orthoptics and radiographers;
  • Filling 900 vacant staff positions;
  • 250 additional hospital security staff with special powers to detain and equipment including handcuffs; and
  • 15 allied health directors – one in every local health district – to coordinate health workers.

In addition, Labor committed to:

  • Keeping all public health services in public hands – and no privatisations;
  • Capping hospital parking fees for hospital staff at $10 per week – after current contracts end;
  • Removing the salary-packaging fee for health and hospital workers with a salary under $70,000;
  • Establishing an independent review to examine issues affecting health workers; and
  • Reviewing and examining NSW health and local health district purchasing practices to identify opportunities to improve patient care.

Under the Liberals and Nationals, the health and hospital system has lurched from crisis to crisis. It has been plagued with staff shortages, unfilled positions and dangerously low staffing levels across suburban and regional NSW.

In this term, the Liberals and Nationals have tried unsuccessfully to privatise five regional hospitals – including Wyong, Goulburn, Shellharbour, Bowral and Maitland. They only shelved the plans due to pressure from the local community, unions and local Labor MPs.

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley said that NSW Labor will be delivering the largest increase to hospital staffing in a generation.

“After eight years of misplaced priorities and neglect by the Liberal-National Government, our hospitals are under enormous pressure”, Mr Daley said.

“Only Labor will deliver enough health and hospital staff to fix the chronic under-staffing and under-resourcing of the state’s hospitals.”

The 1,500 paramedics will be deployed across the State – over the next eight years –to bring down emergency response times which have become the second slowest in Australia – after Tasmania.

Mr Secord said: “Make no mistake, the Liberals and Nationals are scrambling to undo the damage of their eight years of neglect of the health and hospital system.”

“While the Liberals and National splurge $2.2 billion on stadiums, Labor will invest in the health and hospital system. Labor will support doctors, nurses and health and hospital workers rather than splurging on stadiums.”

Today’s announcement builds on:

  • New hospitals in Sydney’s North West, Eurobodalla; and the Tweed;
  • Various hospital upgrades and expanded services across the State including St George, Wollongong, Nepean, Bankstown, Taree, Bathurst, Yass, Cooma, Goulburn, Milton-Ulladulla, Children’s Hospital Randwick, Delegate and Bombala;
  • A plan to fix Northern Beaches Hospital;
  • 5,500 extra nurses – under Labor’s nurse-to-patient ratios;
  • A drug summit;
  • 24 hour pharmacies; and
  • Q Fever vaccinations.

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