With less than two weeks until the Federal Election, the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) is calling for a commitment to improved access and equity in health care.

“The nursing profession makes up more than 50 per cent of the health workforce in Australia and work on the frontline in every health care setting,” said Australian College of Nursing CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN.

“Australia has one of the best health care systems in the world, but we continue to face challenges in terms of access to and equity in health care across this vast land.

“After consultation with nurses across the country, we presented five key health priorities to each of the major parties. They are:

  • Nurses to have more access to Medicare Benefits Schedule items and funding to support patients living with chronic diseases
  • Regulation of the unregulated health care workforce for health care consumer, resident and patient safety
  • Appropriate funding to fill the $3.5 billion shortfall in aged care workforce funding
  • A minimum of one Registered Nurse to be on call and available 24/7 within residential aged care facilities
  • Additional funding and support for nurses who work in palliative care.

“Following the release of the disappointing Budget last month, ACN is eager to see how health will be prioritised by the incoming government to improve patient outcomes. We will be closely watching the release of health care policies in the lead up to the election and hope the Australian people have the opportunity to assess candidates’ health care credentials before voting.

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

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