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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