Bates slams union inaction on nursing assaults

Member for Mudgeeraba, Ros Bates MP has slammed the Queensland Nurses’ Union and the Labor Government after it was revealed there had been a 36 per cent increase in the number of health staff being kicked, hit and injured from 2014 to 2015.

Ms Bates, a registered nurse, said she was appalled that nurses continue to be assaulted in the workplace and questioned what Queensland Nurses’ Union bosses had been doing to stand up for nurses and address assaults in the workplace.

“Today’s revelations that there has been a 36 per cent increase in assaults against health staff are absolutely outrageous,” said Ms Bates.

“Where has the Queensland Nurses’ Union been while our nurses are out there on the frontline being assaulted in their workplace?

“Where was the QNU when I visited local hospitals and witnessed nurses being assaulted?

“Where was the QNU when I called for extra security to keep our nurses safe?

“Why isn’t the QNU supporting me as I spread the word that these assaults are not on?

“All we have seen from the QNU has been political witch hunts, factional games, and unequivocal support for their Labor mate, Health Minister Cameron Dick.

“The QNU needs to stop running around scoring political points and actually stand up for nurses on the frontline.”

Ms Bates said Mr Dick had repeatedly refused to publicly detail nursing assault numbers.

“Just last month, the Health Minister again refused to detail the number of assaults on our nurses reported to Police, claiming this data is not held or reported by Queensland Health,” she said.

“This Minister is once again attempting to cover up his appalling record in the health portfolio.

“The Health Minister needs to come clean on nursing assault numbers and outline when he will address this issue and keep our nurses safe.”

Ms Bates recently launched a Queensland Parliament petition which calls on the Government to launch an awareness campaign after the former LNP Government doubled the penalties for assaulting health staff.

To sign Ms Bates’ petition, visit http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petitions.

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