Media Release - Lead Remote Health Agency calls for Zero Tolerance to Violence

13 Apr 2016

For three decades CRANAplus have been advo­cat­ing for safe and secure work envi­ron­ments for the remote health workforce.

The recent trag­ic event of the mur­der of remote area nurse Gayle Wood­ford over East­er has mobi­lized the nation to sup­port calls for improved safe­ty and secu­ri­ty mea­sures for the remote health workforce.

Pro­fes­sor Smith, Pres­i­dent of CRANAplus today said, Vio­lence against remote area nurs­es is occur­ring at unac­cept­able lev­els (85% in pre­vi­ous 12 months), which are more than dou­ble our urban col­leagues (41%). This is fun­da­men­tal­ly a vio­la­tion of their basic human rights. This essen­tial part of the remote health work­force should be respect­ed for the incred­i­ble work they do, and pro­tect­ed by their com­mu­ni­ties and employ­ers to do so.”

At a meet­ing today with the Hon Sen­a­tor Nash, Min­is­ter for Rur­al Health, CRANAplus spelt out its five key pri­or­i­ties for change. It called for:
· Zero tol­er­ance to vio­lence and aggres­sion towards the remote and iso­lat­ed health work­force.
· All after hours call outs in remote com­mu­ni­ties to be accom­pa­nied.
· The estab­lish­ment of a nation­al safe­ty imple­men­ta­tion group to devel­op, imple­ment and mon­i­tor a set of min­i­mum standards/​training for the remote health indus­try.
· Employer’s to imme­di­ate­ly work with com­mu­ni­ties to review their struc­tures, poli­cies and sys­tems to ensure a safe work­place for their remote health work­force, in accor­dance with Work­place Health and Safe­ty leg­is­la­tion.
· Sin­gle nurse/​clinician posts to be avoid­ed, as they are poor practice.

Many strate­gies for change have been devel­oped, we now need to make sure they are imple­ment­ed in all remote sites nation­al­ly as a mat­ter of urgency. CRANAplus looks for­ward to work­ing with gov­ern­ments, employ­ers, com­mu­ni­ties and the remote health work­force in imple­ment­ing these changes to ensure sig­nif­i­cant, prac­ti­cal changes result, pre­vent­ing any­more remote health pro­fes­sion­als being hurt while doing such an impor­tant job” Prof Smith said today.

CRANAplus exists to pro­mote the devel­op­ment and deliv­ery of safe, high qual­i­ty health­care to remote areas of Australia. 

Fur­ther info / Inter­view / pho­tos:
Pro­fes­sor Janie Smith, Pres­i­dent: 0409 587 578
Mr Christo­pher Cliffe, Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer: 0427 826 409

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