Nurses’ union welcomes cars over wheelbarrows
The Queensland Nurses Union (QNU) says the State Government has addressed most of the security concerns held by members in the Torres Strait.
The QNU also says its members in the Torres Strait will be happy to say goodbye to their wheelbarrows when their new work cars arrive.
The cars were one of the demands made by the union to improve security after the alleged rape of a colleague on a remote island in February.
Nurses also wanted improvements to the security of their accommodation and clinics.
QNU spokeswoman Beth Mohle says at least six cars are expected to arrive on the outer islands this week.
“Before the nurses actually had vehicles to attend call-outs some of them were actually using wheelbarrows,” she said.
“Unfortunately they not only had to take equipment out to call-outs, but at times they had to return to the health clinic with patients in the wheelbarrow, so it was totally unacceptable.”
But Ms Mohle says staffing levels are still a concern after members decided that two people must attend all call-outs for medical help.
“It is still the case that a nurse and a health worker or two health workers go out to all call-outs,” she said.
“On some islands that is an issue and proving to be very difficult that it’s left to two people to do all call-outs and that’s having great fatigue implications.”