The WA Labor Government’s latest report card on the health workforce highlights a system at breaking point with morale among healthcare workers continuing to plunge.
In the latest Your Voice in Health Survey, less than half of respondents (47%) actually felt their organisation cared about their health and wellbeing or that they felt valued in the workplace.
“The approval in both of these areas has also fallen in the last 12 months signalling a troubling downward spiral in healthcare worker satisfaction, another key indicator of a health system in crisis,” Shadow Health Minister Libby Mettam said.
“We know these workers have been under extraordinary pressure and have repeatedly been calling for more assistance while being asked to do overtime and double shifts.
“While we hear many promises about the importance of an engaged workforce in the Sustainable Health Review, the reality is we are not seeing this delivered in the actions of this government.
“Across the spectrum, these figures highlight that our health sector is one of the worst performers in the nation when it comes to workplace satisfaction, with almost half of the responses to this survey providing feedback which is below the national public health benchmark.”
Ms Mettam said while the executive workforce was one of the few sectors providing positive feedback, nurses and midwives consistently scored lowest on satisfaction levels.
“Pathwest also provided scores which reflected an unsupportive workplace.
“These concerns have a direct impact on patient safety, given only 1 in 3 respondents felt it was safe to speak up or challenge the operation of the organisation,” Ms Mettam said.
“What is also concerning, is that just 44% percent of respondents reported seeing any improvement in the working environment.
“If morale and satisfaction is already so low, with no anecdotal evidence it is getting better, how can we expect these workers to continue to do more, particularly if and when there is a COVID-19 outbreak in this State?
“We already know this is a government that was willing to throw junior health workers under the bus following the tragic death of Aishwarya Aswath in April.
“It’s clear that workers are still feeling let down by a Government big on spin and short on action.”