Shocking figures reveal the state is struggling to meet the workforce demand for nurses- with a shortfall to begin from 2020 in public hospitals, private hospitals and aged care facilities across NSW due to a failure by the Berejiklian Government to invest in the delivery of our public services.

The data, obtained by the ABC under Freedom of Information, shows South West Sydney will be hardest hit by the nursing shortage. The area will need 5,500 full-time equivalent Registered Nurses by 2030 but less than 4,000 will be available- an almost 20 percent shortfall. More than 600 full-time equivalent Enrolled Nurses will also be required but only 100 will be available. This puts it in the ‘catastrophic’ category for nursing shortages.

It will be particularly dire for patients who rely on enrolled nurses as full-time staff numbers drop to 7,500 by 2030 despite the need for a workforce of at least 13,500.

This comes at a time when the Berejiklian Government has no hesitation in knocking down and rebuilding Sydney stadiums at a cost of $2.5 billion- money which would be better spent investing in staffing the crippled health system.

An ageing workforce coupled with a shortfall of graduates is behind the crisis which is only set to worsen. The NSW Opposition last year revealed that TAFE enrolments have been in freefall with numbers down 11 percent to July 2017. TAFE provides Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas in nursing which are the key qualifications for Enrolled Nurses (EN).

The Freedom of Information documents also reveal that NSW Health has identified the issue but has simply passed the buck onto local health districts which are not equipped to increase nursing graduate numbers.

NSW Labor Leader Luke Foley has criticised NSW Health for failing to find solutions for the looming crisis.

Mr Foley also expressed concern that TAFE enrolments being cut by 175,000 places under the Liberal-National Government could further reduce the number of nursing graduates in NSW.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“It beggars belief why the Berejiklian Government prioritised spending $2.5 billion on Sydney stadiums when these figures show we’re facing catastrophic nursing shortages in the near future. 

“Health spending is more than just bricks and mortar and the NSW Government has been caught out by their lack of investment in vital nursing staff.

“Patients will be lined outside the doors of hospitals across the state and there no one will be there to treat them- nursing staff should not take the blame of the mismanagement by the NSW Government.

“The Berejiklian Government must retreat from their ridiculous spending commitment on Sydney stadiums and reinvest that money where it truly belongs in schools and hospitals.”