The real reasons why we have a shortage of nurses
The shortage of nurses in Australia is critical and getting worse every day.
Our government admits this but fails to take any steps to try change the status quo. Not only are they failing to fix this problem, things are getting worse due to the many bureaucratic red-tapes around the issue.
The shortage of nurses has forced many hospitals to shut down vital wards.
By closing hospital wards the crisis within our public health system gets worse and reaches levels of danger.
The government is trying to convince us that they are doing something significant to address the issues which affects every Australian.
To this regard, our authorities are making it easier for registered nurses to migrate to Australia. Registered nurses migrating from other countries, have been treated less harshly than other professionals wishing to migrate here.
The government wants to convince us that these actions, superficial in my opinion, will address the chronic and serious shortage of registered nurses.
The stress of working within an ailing system has caused many experienced registered nurses to leave the profession.
We all know that without training local nurses, the crisis will be out of control soon. And what does the government do to fix or prevent this from happening? Nothing. They have made it worse.
I am aware of hundreds of locally trained nurses who are waiting for their registration to start working in our hospitals and help relieving the crisis. They have studied hard, passing all exams and assignments and they went through all practical training. After graduating all these trained nurses hit a brick wall called IELTS and OET.
Unless a graduate passes the IELTS or OET test, they are unable to practice the profession. This law was made during the Rudd Labor government to make it nearly impossible to be a registered nurse from NESB.
The majority of these Australian graduates are from a non-English speaking background (NESB).
One must ask what was the government thinking when they put this law in place? This was not the smartest decisions to be made!!!
I am sure that universities and colleges have strict regulations when accepting only people with enough English language skills to attend their courses. The fact that these students were successful in completing the course is a clear indication that they have enough English skills to understand the tasks and functions effectively in any similar roles in our hospitals.
Instead of allocating all of them immediately into our health system, the government forces them to wait years to register.
The minister who created this regulation, did so based on no research or substantiated data. Blaming migrants from NESB of mistakes in our health system is not only racist but clearly shows lack of common sense.
This way of thinking is also hurting our society.
Many good professionals have given up on registering as nurses due to the constant failure to pass the IELTS test.
These desperately needed graduates are costing tax-payers millions of dollars in HECS. The continue failure to pass IELTS testing will either cause them to lose the right to register after 2 years or just give up.
In both situations, these professionals will be unemployed or will end up working unskilled jobs and will be unable to pay back the HECS debt. All this thanks to this foolish policy.
Meanwhile patients in hospitals are waiting long hours in emergency and are unable to get a bed due to a shortage of nurses.
Many Australian women will be forced to deliver babies in toilets or hospital staircases.
And we will continue importing nurses from third world countries.
What is happening with nurses is a classic example of what is happening with other professions where NESB professionals are treated as second class citizen and forced to suffer endlessly because of their birthplace.
All our universities are careful in accepting only people mastering enough English language skills before they attend their classes.
So why NESB graduates need to prove every two years they haven’t lost their English language skills?
Some common sense is needed to fix our ailing health, political and moral systems.