The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) supports the investments that have been announced in tonight’s Federal Budget, particularly those designed to strengthen Australia’s valued nursing workforce.

Initiatives funded include:

  • 3,000 extra nurses to improve the health of people living in rural, regional and remote areas;
  • Exploring nurse models of health care delivery that can provide primary health care to support the nursing workforce;
  • An independent review of current nursing preparation and education which will explore improvements to the system and consider factors that affect nurses entering the nursing workforce;
  • Funding for frontline service delivery by nurse practitioners; and
  • $20 million for a mental health nurse led service focused on reducing mental health impacts of social isolation for Australians over 75 years of age.

“By investing in and supporting our nursing workforce, the Australian community can feel confident that nurses will be available to provide care now and into the future,” said CEO of the Australian College of Nursing, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.

“We are pleased to see that aged care reform is a major topic in the Budget announcement and this needs to remain front and centre as a Government priority.

“Care for older Australians is a priority for the Australian College of Nursing and so is meeting the needs of ageing Australians, particularly with a focus on healthy ageing. ACN will be looking to see funding support for gerontological nursing to provide safe and appropriate care for the complex needs of the elderly.”

The Australian College of Nursing is pleased to see that whooping cough vaccine to be made available to all pregnant women free of charge as ACN strongly advocates for immunisation for vulnerable people.

“According to the Commonwealth Fund’s Comparative Analysis of Health Systems, Australia’s health care system performance is a close second to the United Kingdom. Yet we rank in the bottom half when it comes to equity. This means, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, low income families, those who live outside our major metropolitan cities, or people who are new to Australia, do not always have the same access to best practice care that many of us take for granted,” said Adjunct Professor Ward.

“Whilst there is an investment in rural and remote areas, the ACN would like to see that nursing specialisation is essential to providing care to these communities.

“What is pleasing about the focus of these investments tonight is that it makes a number of vital health care services more affordable for all.

“Nurses need to be at the table where all decisions will be made regarding new funding announcements to ensure they will be successful. The aged care promises in particular are ones that will be closely examined to ensure the changes are creating better outcomes for older Australians.”

-ENDS-

For interviews, please contact Kristen Connell on 0400 054 227

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