The Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM; the College) warns that healthcare workforce shortages – due in part to deficits in long-term planning and resourcing – are among the key challenges facing the NSW health system.
The College maintains while only whole-of-health system reform will truly resolve these issues, immediate action can ensure more people in NSW get the care they need, when and where they need it.
ACEM is calling for all parties contesting the NSW state election to commit to the following measures:

  • The implementation of all recommendations from the NSW Parliamentary Committee Report on the Impact of ambulance ramping and access block.
  • A four-year workforce retention package to support existing healthcare staff that complements and expands upon the NSW Health Workforce Plan 2022-2032.
  • An immediate recruitment and training strategy to increase clinical support staff such as patient support assistants and clerical workers, providing needed support for clinical staff and patients.
  • A 20% increase in funding for clinician roles across the public hospital system, to increase access to services seven days per week and outside business hours.

ACEM President Dr Clare Skinner said, “The most important thing in the health system is people: the patients, carers and the people who work in it. Every healthcare worker in NSW wants to deliver the timely and effective care that people need. But this is simply impossible when there are not enough skilled staff in the right places to provide it.

“Without intervention, workforce issues self-perpetuate: Skilled health care workers leave because of unsustainable working conditions, then working conditions get worse because of further staff shortages – so more skilled staff leave or reduce their working hours. But this can be fixed – if we work together.

“We urge all parties contesting the State Election to commit to implementing all recommendations from the NSW Parliamentary Committee’s report on ambulance ramping and access block, and collaborate with ACEM and other healthcare stakeholders on policies that address the shortfalls across NSW’s emergency departments and broader health care system, now and into the future.”

ACEM is the peak body for emergency medicine in Australia and New Zealand, responsible for training emergency physicians and advancement of professional standards.

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Melissa Howard [email protected] + 61 427 621 857