Health system is bleeding staff, say Canberra Liberals

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The workers leave Canberra Health Services (CHS) in droves, and staff would not recommend their workplace as a good place to work, say the Canberra Liberals.

Rachel Stephen SmithACT’s health minister, said the ACT government was working daily with senior leadership and staff to ease pressure on the workforce.

Liberal MP Leanne Castleyshadow minister for health, mental health and wellbeing, said according to FOI documents his party had obtained, more than one in eight workers planned to leave the ‘crisis-ridden’ health system of Canberra within two years.

the November 2021 Corporate Culture Survey Of 3,852 CHS staff, including nearly 1,100 nurses and midwives, 13% intended to leave within two years, up from 12% two years earlier.

Similarly, only 39% believed workloads were “fair and equitable”; only 37 percent said the CHS recognizes their accomplishments; and 45 percent believed there were good career opportunities.

When asked if they would recommend CHS as a good place to work, staff responded with a negative rating of -15.1; more than double the November 2019 score of -7.2.

Ms Castley called the report “damning”.

“This report is a wake-up call to the Labour-Green government that our health system is bleeding staff,” she said.

“Nurses feel undervalued and are leaving en masse. No wonder Canberra has the worst wait times for emergency services and elective surgeries in the country.

Ms Stephen-Smith acknowledged that the workload was “already incredibly high”.

“It’s a real challenge, and it’s been a real challenge,” she said, “especially for people who have worked at the sharp end of the front line in the intensive care unit. emergency department for the past two years. years. It was hard work.

But, rather than leaving the healthcare system altogether, many staff have moved into a different role, Ms Stephen-Smith said. Again, if people left, their positions were filled. For example, 25 nurses left the Canberra Hospital ICU, but 84 nurses were recruited.

The Canberra Hospital, Ms Stephen-Smith said, had a consistent recruitment campaign to recruit new nurses and allied health professionals and find pathways for student nurses who had worked in vaccination establishments.

Similarly, the minister said, the ACT government had committed to creating an additional 70 full-time equivalent nursing positions to improve nurse-to-nurse ratios and was working with the Australian Federation of Nurses and Midwives. women to implement the first step.

The government would close the AIS Arena COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at the end of this month, instead of keeping it open until June, to bring nurses and students to the frontline health services, and “Relieve that pressure a little bit,” Ms. Stephen-Smith said.

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