Liberal Nationals Left 138.2 Nurses Unfunded in Hunter New England LHD

Liberal Nationals left 138.2 nurses unfunded in Hunter New England LHD
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The Liberal Nationals have owned up to their failure to fund 1,112 nurses across NSW, including 138.2 nursing positions in the Hunter New England Local Health District.

Incoming briefings provided to the Minns Labor Government revealed that the previous Liberal National Government left 1,112 temporary nurses unfunded beyond the 2024-25 fiscal year.

This includes dozens of unfunded nurses in 14 Local Health Districts (LHDs) along with the Children’s Hospital Network.

This massive funding black hole includes no funding allocated for:

  • 2 nurses in the Hunter New England LHD
  • 2 nurses in the South Western Sydney LHD
  • 1 nurses in the Western Sydney LHD
  • 4 nurses in the South Eastern Sydney LHD
  • 4 nurses in the Sydney LHD
  • 82 nurses in the Northen Sydney LHD
  • 4 nurses in the Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD
  • 1 nurses in the Central Coast LHD
  • 1 nurses in the Western NSW LHD
  • 51 nurses in the Northern NSW LHD
  • 50 nurses in the Nepean Blue Mountains LHD
  • 3 nurses in the Mid North Coast LHD
  • 6 nurses in the Murrumbidgee LHD
  • 41 nurses in the Children’s Hospital Network
  • 6 nurses in the Southern NSW LHD

During Question Time on Wednesday 23 August, 2023 in response to a member of the government addressing the former government’s budget mismanagement – which left these 1,112 essential health workers unfunded – the former Treasurer and current Shadow Minister for Health, Matt Kean interjected to inform the house these were ‘COVID recovery nurses’.

“The Minister is being deliberately quarrelsome, misleading the house about nurses that were COVID recovery nurses,” Mr Kean admitted to the chamber.

The Shadow Health Minister confirmed that the Coalition’s intention was to sack 1,112 nurses – at a time the NSW health system is under immense pressure.

The Liberals and Nationals failure to fund our essential workers is just one element of a $7 billion black hole uncovered by the Minns Government which included:

  • a funding shortfall of $700 million for children living in out of home care; and
  • a school repair backlog of $1.2 billion

Moreover, Matt Kean’s mismanagement of the Budget has left the new government with record debt, which is on track to pass $187 billion – the equivalent of around $22,000 for every resident of NSW.

Minister for Health and Regional Health, Ryan Park said:

“Matt Kean has confirmed what we all knew, but they were too cowardly to admit before the election – the Liberal National government had no intention of continuing to fund these essential nurses.

“The fact is, even post-COVID, our health system is under immense pressure and we cannot afford to lose thousands of nurses.

State Member for the Electorate of Cessnock, Clayton Barr said:

“Healthcare in the Hunter/New England region is already under incredible pressure, losing these 138.2 nurses will stretch our healthcare services to the limit.”

“The former Liberal National Government presided over more than a decade of mismanagement and underinvestment in healthcare in our rural and regional areas.”

“The fact they planned to axe 138.2 nurses from our region is proof of that.”