The release today of the 2023 ‘Your Voice in Health’ Employee Engagement Survey paints another grim picture of the crisis within the State’s public health system.
WA Liberal Leader and Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said the survey made for troubling reading but was not surprising given the current dysfunctional state of the public health system.
The survey showed just 28 per cent of workers in the health sector felt they were valued and respected, just 25 per cent felt their organisation cared for their health and wellbeing and an even lower number, 23 per cent, did not believe those leading their organisation were honest.
“That means 3 in 4 WA health workers don’t feel valued and respected,” Ms Mettam said.
“When you have a State Government that is prepared to throw nurses under a bus, as they did in the tragic case of the Aishwarya Aswath, and then stridently resist improving staffing and communications, it is no wonder we have health workers who don’t trust the organisation they work for.
“Nurses are also being forced to work double and triple shifts in emergency departments – that is simply not good enough.
“The Minister’s reaction to this, which was to convene a healthcare workforce summit in a couple of months’ time, is a woefully inadequate reaction to a crisis that is affecting the delivery of health services and the wellbeing of health workers every day.
“Even more worrying is that 75 per cent of workers do not feel they can speak up when they see something wrong within their workplace.”
Ms Mettam said it was now clear why the WA Labor Government had refused to commission the same report last year.
“These workers are the people who are there at our time of need. They care for our sick and elderly, they are expected to summon compassion at will, and they often work under very stressful circumstances and make life and death decisions.
“Yet, they don’t feel valued, respected, free to speak up and that they don’t trust what they are being told.
“Their employer – the WA Government – needs to do better and support our healthcare workers. Premier Cook must make health a priority.”