The McGowan Government has chosen to stick its head in the sand about health worker morale cancelling the annual WA health staff survey.

The Your Voice in Health Survey is an important tool for gaining insight from those on the frontline about how well the system is operating and how supported staff feel.

“Incredulously, the Government has cancelled this year’s survey, claiming it’s too busy preparing for COVID to listen to what its workers have to say,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.

“It is vital that our health workers feel valued for the critical work they undertake and this targeted tool says “we value you and want to hear from you”.

“This is just another example of the McGowan government not wanting to face up to the fact that frontline health workers are exhausted and overworked before WA has even had to deal with significant COVID cases.

“The continued secrecy from the Premier and the Minister for Health refusing to release the health modelling being used to make decisions is a smoke-screen for a health system that is unprepared.

“Last November the Your Voice in Health Survey for the Child and Adolescent Health Service* revealed that 43% of workers felt valued for the work that they do, which trailed the rest of the Australian public health sector by 16%.

“This should ring alarm bells, particularly when at that time WA was free of COVID.”

This survey also discovered just 36% of health workers felt it was safe to speak up and challenge the way things are done in the organisation, which underlines the importance of a survey where staff remain anonymous.

“The Your Voice survey is about supporting our health workers who are being asked to do more with less, also ensuring that patient care and safety is optimised, which starts with looking after your workforce.

“It is disgraceful that this survey has been cancelled demonstrating that the McGowan government has little regard for the health and welfare of our valued frontline health workers.

“The McGowan government have dragged their feet on recruiting health workers and the Health Minister’s urgent eleventh-hour efforts to desperately recruit for our under-resourced health system should have happened two years ago.”

*https://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/~/media/Corp/Documents/Reports-and-publications/MfH-staff-survey/2021-WA-health-system-results.pdf