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Letters to the Editor

From time to time, a commentary on the world will bubble up inside of me to the extent that I'm forced to write a letter to my local, metropolitan, daily newspaper, The Age. This is where I blow of some steam. Feel like venting too? Add your own comment or visit my homepage.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Nurses Cash In To Keep Ratios

We've seen many letters and press releases about the wonderful work nurses do. We've read that four out of five nurses in a trial didn't like the patient dependency model (Trendcare) and that over half would "consider" leaving the profession if it were introduced (26/4).

But where is the support for the current system based on crude ratios - a throwback to the 19th century? How could a system that deliberately ignores the ebb and flow of patient needs better serve the community? If it's so damaging, why did the nurses federation in Queensland endorse patient dependency models?

The nurses' union has cast this recent and seemingly arbitrary ratio as a bellwether of community support for nurses. The logic seems to be "nurses do a good job and are undervalued. They really want this ratio - let them have it." This is the nurses' union cynically cashing in the goodwill built up over generations to put their interests ahead of those of the broader community.


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