Page 1870 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 May 2013

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I reiterate my call for that model of care to be changed to one that reflects the urgent care clinic. International studies have shown that an urgent care clinic model involving doctors and nurses working in cooperation is more likely to succeed. The study has shown up to 27 per cent of visits to the emergency department could be better treated in an urgent care clinic. They have been rolled out in places like Victoria, Northern Territory, the US, the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

But none of those observations draw away from the great work that our nurses and midwives are doing. Their profession has undergone enormous change, and nurses and midwives have adapted with that. I wish all the nurses and midwives nominated for awards every success tonight. I am disappointed I did not get an invitation to that event. I never have received an invitation to that event. I would love to come along. It would be great to show my support for our nurses and midwives at that event, and I hope that in future years I receive an invitation so that I can attend the event and congratulate the recipients of those awards and all the other hard-working nurses and midwives we have in our community.

MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.06): I am pleased to be able to speak on this issue today. I note that this week is 2013 International Nursing and Midwifery Week, and that the ACT nursing and midwifery awards will be awarded tonight to acknowledge the dedication, hard work and commitment of every nurse and midwife in the ACT. I understand that there have been a large number of nominations across many categories, and I congratulate every one of those nurses and midwives who have been nominated on their hard work over the past year—and, of course, the many years before this one.

Although this is only one week, this is the one time of the year when we pause to reflect on the ongoing good work of our nurses and midwives in the ACT. The smooth functioning of our health system on a daily basis in Canberra is something that most Canberrans take for granted. Nurses are like the glue in our hospital system: they play one of the key roles which go almost unnoticed if things go well. We rely on nurses in the emergency department, to care for us in hospital when we are suddenly ill or to support us through planned operations. We need nurses when we skin our knees at school or when we break our legs as adults and later in life. We also rely considerably on nurses at the later end of our lives, when we spend much more time in and out of hospital or require regular home nurse visits. And nurses are an invaluable part of our advance care planning.

In Canberra we can be proud to boast of the nurse-led walk-in centre, currently situated at the Canberra Hospital, which shows the importance and value of our nurses and the essential role they play in the medical and health sector.

We also rely on nurses and midwives when mothers give birth. Many mothers’ fondest memories of the birthing process are of the support they received from their midwives. And midwives of course play an especially integral role in our birth centre at the new Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and previously at the TCH.

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