Today is the 22nd anniversary of the removal, from the WHO International Classification of Diseases, of homosexuality as an illness. It’s also International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) – to all the LGBTIQ nurses, midwives and members of the public out there, we may have come a long way globally, but there’s a long road ahead.

Which would be a lovely segue into today’s count down, for there’s a long way to go there to. However, I’m linking instead to the birthday (in 1909) of Julius Sumner Miller, because I so often look at the Baillieu government’s policies and wonder “Why is it so?”

Why has the Baillieu government taken this position? Every day we’re closer to the election, and a day deeper into the results of the Victorian Liberal Party party’s ideas of what governing is. Had it not been for the strong, consistent and united action of the ANF members, our intelligent, committed and pit-fall-avoiding Executive, and our admirable, dedicated and ludicrously hard-working staff, we would now be working short shift and split shifts, without ratios and with shortfalls made up of minimally trained staff (for whose practice we would be responsible).

Few of those changes, I grant you, would be in place early – but we’d be at the six month mark by now, and the insidious pace would begin to accelerate. The major metropolitan hospitals wold be the last to feel the impact, but rural, sub-acute and smaller hospitals would already be struggling, and all the stand-alone centres and units would either still be in individual negotiation or bearing the brunt of even harsher ‘flexibilities’.

While EBA negotiations continue across smaller sectors (mental health, RDNS, private acute and others), the strongest impact of the Baillieu government’s policies is now hitting the education sector. It’s begun with massive cuts to the vocational education sector, and as the education union warms up to it’s EBA campaign things look grim on that front, too.

In the meantime ambulance ramping’s back on the increase, thanks in no small part because of the determination by VHIA (at the government’s behest) that increasing ED nursing numbers to allow ambulance vehicles and officers back on the road wouldn’t constitute productivity gains for nursing, only for Ambulance Victoria. Apparently we’re not all part of one health care system…

This post’s well long enough, so I’ll finish up with this: 926 days, Mr Baillieu.
Note: this entry was originally posted on the ANF (Vic. branch)’s Facebook page on 18/5/12

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