HUNDREDS of nurses and midwives were left infuriated when the state budget failed to address the urgent need for staffing ratios, and will walk off the job in Tamworth next week.
NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA) members will stop work for up to 24 hours on Tuesday for closed meetings about the shortfalls.
NSWNMA acting general secretary Shaye Candish said the budget had left many questions and demands unanswered.
"The sheer lack of transparency is palpable," she said.
"There are widespread staffing deficits right across the state now and there is no guarantee that the government's 'health workforce boost' will be utilised to plug gaps in the staffing rosters now.
"We need fundamental reform of our healthcare system."
She said that included ratios and transparent spending rather than more "unaccountable cash being thrown about" with no staffing solutions.
The rural and remote incentive packages were welcomed by the NSWNMA, but acting assistant general secretary Michael Whaites said the one-off payments would not be enough to cover the rising cost of living.
"The 'thank you' payment does very little to recognise the sacrifices and moral injury our members endured throughout the pandemic, which we all know extends across the entire health system, not just public hospitals," he said.
"There are many who helped this state in its time of need that will not get this payment, those who burnt out and left, those in the private and aged care sectors.
"Those members are rightly feeling undervalued."
Mr Whaites said instead of listening to the frustrations of the nurses, midwives and clinicians on the ground they had been ignored.
Tamworth association members will meet and the mass meeting at Sydney Town Hall will be broadcast to some regional locations.
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