The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has expressed disappointment at the lost opportunities in Budget 2019-20, particularly in the Government’s failure to distribute additional funding to improving patient outcomes across the country.

“This modest allocation fails to appreciate the growing crisis in aged care, particularly in registered nurse staffing shortfalls and inadequate skills-mix training,” Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN said.

“This has been a priority issue for the nursing profession for many years. The appropriate health professionals should be available to those who require care, particularly our Senior Australians.

“The additional home care packages and assurance for those who are opting for home care support are a bandaid fix to the issues which have been presented to the Royal Commission into Aged Care.

“ACN acknowledges the intent to address youth mental health with the promise of developing a national youth mental health and suicide prevention strategy. However nurses are often the first point of contact for patients and remain a vital source of relational support during the tenure of their care, particularly in remote and regional communities, which was not at all addressed today.

“As a member of the Close the Gap Steering Committee, ACN is committed to achieving the many targets that will lead to improvements in indigenous health, moving us closer to the principles of reconciliation. As nurses provide care holistically, the issues should be considered just as broadly.

“ACN will continue to advocate for solutions that are evidence-based and utilise the full scope of nurses’ capabilities.”

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