$25m program to tackle nurses' burnout

Wednesday, 01 May, 2024

$25m program to tackle nurses' burnout

Health professionals around the world have been put under immense pressure over the last few years, supporting the community through the pandemic. In a recent Australian survey, seven out of 10 frontline workers reported symptoms of severe or moderate burnout.

To tackle the growing problem of stress, burnout and turnover, the federal government has announced a $25.2 million national program to help Australia’s nurses and midwives.

“Australia’s healthcare system is powered by the sweat, hearts and expertise of nurses and midwives — it’s vital that we look after the health and wellbeing of the people who look after us,” said Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney MP.

“As a former nurse, I understand just how challenging nursing and midwifery can be. They’re physically demanding and psychologically taxing jobs. This program is long overdue,” Kearney said.

The free and confidential program for nurses, midwives and students aims to help them better manage and reduce escalating rates of fatigue, stress and burnout.

The first phase of the service is a telehealth line (1800 001 060) and a website that is already up and running, with nurses able to access advice and referrals when needed.

The next phase is a rollout of four in-person hubs to cover Victoria and Tasmania, New South Wales and the ACT, South Australia and Western Australia, and Queensland and the Northern Territory, as well as additional regional offices. These services will offer both face-to-face and telehealth services.

“The Nurse Midwife Health Program Australia will support our nurses and midwives through tough times, offering independent advice, support and information,” Kearney said.

“Importantly, the people answering calls and engaging with people seeking help are themselves nurses and midwives. They know the issues and challenges and know what people are going through — I wish I had it back in my day.”

The program will work towards ensuring that nurses and midwives stay in the health workforce.

Image credit: iStock.com/Marco VDM

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